• Old Master and 19th Century Ar auction at Christies

    Sale 2829

    Old Master and 19th Century Art

    13 October 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 157

    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Middelburg 1803-1862 Cleves)

    A wooded landscape with an angler and cattle grazing

    Price Realised  


    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Middelburg 1803-1862 Cleves)
    A wooded landscape with an angler and cattle grazing
    signed and dated 'B.C. Koekkoek ft: 1855.' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    83 x 106 cm.

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    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862) was born into a family of talented painters. His father Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek (1778-1851) was an esteemed marine painter. Barend Cornelis himself went on to gather critical acclaim for his romantic landscapes. In his view, nature equalled perfection. A great appreciation for all that nature has to offer shines through in many of his paintings. They are a poetic representation of reality, enhanced by a wondrous reflection of light. The artist considered light to be the heart and soul of life: "Beschouwt vooral de werking van het licht, want dat is de ziel van alles". Light guides the viewer's eyes through each painting, touching upon all important aspects of the landscape and the people that inhabit it.

    The present lot is a wonderfully executed demonstration of B.C. Koekkoek's characteristic play with light. The dark forest is set off by the patches of light on the surrounding grass. A path winds through the trees and leads us to an unknown destination. We see a family walking past the cows further into the distance. An intelligent and meticulous composition transforms this seemingly simple event into a view of an idyllic world long gone. Koekkoek made this painting in 1855, the year he received his third gold medal at the Salon in Paris and became honorary vice president of the Societé Universelle pour l'encouragement des Arts et de l'Industrie in London. His style had matured by then, and every aspect of the painting is well thought-through. The ephemeral scene in the woodlands manages to hold our attention while our eyes wander over the painting, taking in the impressive trees and the fishermen sitting near the cows. Finally, we notice the people strolling on the path, fitting seamlessly into this peaceful landscape.

    Koekkoek completed his studies at the Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, and afterwards moved to Hilversum. He found like-minded artists there who specialised in cattle and landscape painting and started teaching young students for the first time. Koekkoek later founded a Drawing Academy in the German town of Cleves. He taught his students how to draw living models and simultaneously encouraged them to paint free work once a week. The Cleves school of painting is characterised by images of the untamed nature of the German countryside with its dense forests and grand vistas. The artist home that he built there is now a museum that houses many of Koekkoek's works.

    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 €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Schwartz Collection, Mönchengladbach.
    with Paffrath, Düsseldorf, 1959.
    A. Otten, Mönchengladbach.
    with R. Green, London, inv. no. AT165/SP2146.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the last line of the provenance should read in full: with Richard Green Gallery, London, 2000, inv. no. AT165/SP2146, where acquired by the present owner.


    F. Gorissen, B.C. Koekkoek 1803-1862: Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Düsseldorf, 1962, no. 55/81, illustrated.