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    Sale 2785

    19th Century European Art

    15 April 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 202

    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)

    A herdsman and his cattle by a forest stream

    Price Realised  


    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)
    A herdsman and his cattle by a forest stream
    signed and dated 'B.C. Koekkoek ft/1834' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    81.5 x 66.5 cm.

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    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek is the landscape painter 'par excellence' of the Dutch Romantic period and already during his lifetime he was referred to as 'Prins der Landschapschilders'. Having finished the Koninklijke Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam around 1825, Koekkoek moved to Hilversum, where he laid the foundations for his career as a landscape painter. After two years he travelled throughout the country and settled in Cleves in 1834 with his wife Elise Daiwaille, whom he had married in 1833.

    The present lot is an archetypal example of Koekkoek's artistic expression of the 1830's. He demonstrates his painterly expertise in this atmospheric forest by daylight. He has chosen to depict a herdsman with his cattle, two of which are resting lazily in a sunbeam, gathered beside a small stream under the trees. The viewer actually becomes part of the landscape due to the diagonal line the artist has applied: from the lower left the spectator's view is drawn to the cows and into the horizon that appears to be never ending.

    A certain tangibility is achieved in the work because of Koekkoeks concept of the artistic process: one had to examine nature closely, because it would be impossible to imitate its harmony, without knowing how this harmony is conceived in nature itself. Koekkoek said: 'De werken der menschen zijn onvolmaakt; men neemt onwetend het niet schoone van dezelve over; in de natuur kunnen wij niet dwalen: alles in haar is waar!' (see: R. de Leeuw a.o., Meesters van de Romantiek: Nederlandse Kunstenaars 1800-1850, Rotterdam 2005, p. 136).

    The authenticity of the present lot has kindly been confirmed by Drs Guido de Werd, director of Haus Koekkoek, Cleves, after firsthand examination.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Mr Henri Johan Eduard Wenckebach-Van Vollenhoven, circa 1900-1980.
    Mr C.P.K. Winckel, Wassenaar, circa 1980-1997.
    Leslie Smith Gallery, Wassenaar, 1997, where acquired by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Angelika Nollert, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1830-1862), Prins der Landsschapsschilders, Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum/Cleves, B.C. Koekkoek-Huis, 1997, p. 114-115, no. 11.
    Guido de Werd and Angelika Nollert, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862); zijn familie, zijn school en het B.C. Koekkoek-Huis in Kleef, Cleves 2000, p. 17, ill..
    Herman de Vilder and Kris van de Ven, De dierenschilder Eugène Verboeckhoven (1789-1881) en zijn medeschilders, Vilvoorde, 2006, p. 36, fig. 23.


    Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum/Cleves, B.C. Koekkoek-Haus, B.C. Koekkoek (1803-1862), Prins der Landsschapsschilders, Dordrecht Cleves, 1997, cat.no. 11.
    B.C. Koekkoek-Haus, Cleves, 1997-2007, inv.no. 34/81.5. (on loan).

    Post Lot Text