Lot 97
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Old Master Paintings, Nineteenth Century & Early Modern Art | 15 December 2020
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Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch (1824-1903)

A stranded boat on the beach of Zeeland

signed 'J.H. Weissenbruch' (lower left)

oil on canvas, 102x135 cm

Provenance:
-With Kunsthandel E.J. van Wisselingh, Amsterdam.
-Collection B. Meijer, Wassenaar, thence by descent to the present owners.

As one of the pioneers of The Hague School, Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch was an expert in depicting the atmosphere of a cloudy landscape. He often emphasized the effect of light and its reflection on water in his works as can be observed in many of his polder landscapes. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century he started to diversify his oeuvre by also portraying desolated beach scenes. The most famous example of this subject in Weissenbruch’s oeuvre is probably ‘Strandgezicht’ in the collection of the Kunstmuseum in The Hague (inv. no. 6-1887).

The skills that he learned with his polder landscapes prove to be very useful in this new subject matter. Once again the water and even more so the sky are the most important elements in these works. One of Weissenbruch’s most famous quotes is very applicable for these North Sea works: ‘De lucht op een schilderij, dat is een ding. Een hoofdzaak! Lucht en licht zijn de grote tovenaars. De lucht bepaalt de schilderij. Schilders kunnen nooit genoeg naar de lucht kijken. Wij moeten het van boven hebben. Wij leven van regen en zonneschijn en gaan met ons palet door de droge buien’.

In this impressive painting the sky also plays a very important role. Two thirds of the composition are dedicated to the different tones in the sky and the effect of the sun behind this blanket of clouds. Typical for the North Sea, the entire painting is covered in a silvery haze. A greyish white shimmering line indicates the horizon and emphasizes the effect of the light on the water. Central to the composition a large dark boat is depicted in the contra light, while on the far left another stranded ship is bathing in light. The central boat lies on the beach near a pool of seawater with a fisherman and his horse in its shadow. This gives Weissenbruch the opportunity to show his skills of light reflection in water on the foreground of the painting but also balances the composition. The entire scene radiates the desolate atmosphere of ominous weather along the North Sea.

Please compare the present lot to a painting with a similar composition, dated 1901, in the collection of the Kunstmuseum, The Hague, inv. no. 12-1918. (illustrated in Willem Laanstra, 'Johan Hendrik Weissenbruch 1824-1903', Amsterdam 1992, ill. p. 69, cat. no. 1901-4).

€ 30.000,00
€ 50.000,00

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