• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2801

    19th CenturyEuropean Art

    14 October 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 255

    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)

    Een Boomrijk landschap met koeiyen, en schapen bij Middagstond: a herdsman and his cattle resting under an oak tree, a ruin in the distance

    Price Realised  


    Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)
    Een Boomrijk landschap met koeiyen, en schapen bij Middagstond: a herdsman and his cattle resting under an oak tree, a ruin in the distance
    signed and dated 'B.C. Koekkoek ft. 1850.' (lower centre); and signed and dated again and inscribed with title and authenticated: 'Dit schilderij voorstellende een/aan Boomrijk landschap met/Koeiyen, Schapen enz. bij mid-/-dagstond, is geschilderd in/het jaar 1850. door den onder-/geteekende/B.C. Koekkoek.' (on a label attached to the reverse) and with the artist's seal (attached to the reverse)
    oil on panel
    66 x 83.5 cm.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Born in 1803 as the eldest son in a family of artists, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek grew up with fine art. While his father Johannes Hermanus (1778-1851) was an acclaimed maritime painter, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek specialized in 'boschrijke landschappen en boschgezichten, ook wel riviergezigten' (see: A. Nollert, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, Prins der landschapschilders, Zwolle 1997).

    Once Barend Cornelis Koekkoek had completed his studies at the Koninklijke Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam around 1825 he moves to the town of Hilversum. Located just outside Amsterdam, Hilversum was home to a group of landscape artists including Jan Hendrik Bodeman (1773-1842), Pieter Gerardus van Os (1776-1839) and Jan van Ravenswaay (1789-1869). The town was conveniently located in a hilly environment which offered woods, heath land and lakes as potential subject matter. Once Koekkoek arrived there he found a younger generation of artists, amongst them Jacob Theodor Abels (1803-1866) and Albertus Verhoesen (1806-1881). In 1824 a Drawing Academy was founded in Hilversum where Koekkoek seems to have been teaching, of which a local vicar's daughter could recall:

    '...Er was toen te Hilversum een soort schilder-academie. De vee- en landschapschilders Van Os, Van Ravenswaay, later Koekkoek en anderen, hadden er een school waar jonge lieden onder hun leiding tot artisten werden gevormd. De allerliefste landelijke omgeving vol afwisseling van bouwgrond, heide bosch en water, waarin Hilversum en 's Graveland aaneen sloten, was bizonder geschikt voor hun studie. Zij droegen allen platte fluwelen mutsen en korte jasjes...' (see: K. Hooijer-Bruins, Domineesdochter in 's Graveland - Domineesvrouw in Zaltbommel, Zaltbommel 1981, p. 48).

    Magnificent romantic landscapes form the core of Koekkoek's oeuvre and the present lot is an exceptionally fine example, capturing the essence of the natural world. In this monumental panel cattle is grazing peacefully in a magnificent old forest. Light enters the work diagonally from the upper left, lighting up the imposing and dignified oak tree nearest to the picture plane. The sunrays also allow for a myriad of different greens to be created amongst the denser forest whilst the fur of the animals takes on a glistening quality.

    In the foreground a herdsman and his wife are both resting lazily on the soft forest floor. Near them a sheep drinks from a clear pond whilst in the distance travelers are heading towards a sunlit castle. The path they are on lead the viewer's eye between the trees, creating remarkable depth in the work.

    The present lot is exemplary for Koekkoek's mature work of the 1850's. An unusually high level of finish is combined with a preoccupation for aged trees and recalls the work of Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682). The massive contorted branches and knotted trunks symbolize the enduring- and conversely transitory nature of life itself.

    A reproduction of an engraving by Johannes Arnoldus Boland (1838-1922) of the present lot is kept in the archives of the RKD, The Hague [fig.1].

    The authenticity of the present lot has kindly been confirmed by Drs Guido de Werd, director of Haus Koekkoek, Cleves, on the basis of a colour photograph.

    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.


    Mr B.C. Schneider van Greyffenswerth, Amsterdam.
    Mr Kluyver, 1873.
    Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, 16 October 1873, lot 28.
    Mr B. de Geus van den Heuvel, Nieuwersluis aan de Vecht, 1953; his Sale, Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 26-27 April 1976, lot 136, where acquired by a forefather of the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Friedrich Gorissen, B.C. Koekkoek 1803-1862, Düsseldorf 1962, cat.no. 50/66, p. 94, ill., as: Boomrijk landschap met koeyen, schapen enz. by middagstond.


    Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, Tussen Romantiek en de Haagse School, 23 December 1953-25 January 1954, cat.no. 18.
    Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, Schilders van de Veluwezoom, Summer 1954, cat.no. 31.
    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum/Museum Willet Holthuysen, Romantische School, 28 November 1958-2 February 1959, cat.no. B33a, as: Bosgezicht met vee (on loan from Mr B. de Geus van den Heuvel).
    Laren, Singer Museum, Keuze uit de collectie De Geus van den Heuvel, 1966, cat.no. 26, as: Bosgezicht met vee (on loan from Mr B. de Geus van den Heuvel).