• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2791

    Twentieth Century Art

    5 June 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 63

    Carel Willink (DUTCH, 1900-1983)

    Huis met twee trappen - House with two stairs

    Price Realised  


    Carel Willink (DUTCH, 1900-1983)
    Huis met twee trappen - House with two stairs
    signed and dated 'Willink '60' (upper right)
    oil on canvas
    90 x 69 cm.

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    Huis met de twee trappen shows a large, late 19th century Amsterdam villa. Although we are not sure whether this villa really exists, it strongly resembles the villas around the Vondelpark near Willink's studio. Willink has always been attracted to the architecture of 19th century houses in Amsterdam. They play an important role in his work. Often as a background and sometimes, like in Huis met de twee trappen, almost like a portrait of a house. The emptiness of the composition, the grey lighting and the absence of the human figure give the feeling that this is a place of danger. This feeling is amplified by the presence of the big black cat in the lower left corner. In these years Willink often added animals, sometimes even exotic species, to his compositions. He stated: "Animals as such don't say anything but at the moment you put them on the stairs or near a building then all of a sudden these stairs or this building have another meaning, just like the animal" (op.cit, W.Kramer, p.154).
    Model for this cat was Willink's own beautiful grey Angora cat called 'Ploe'.

    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.


    Acquired directly from the artist by the mother of the present owner, thence by descent.


    Walter Kramer, Willink, The Hague 1973, p. 185 (ill.)
    H. Jaffé, Carel Willink, Amsterdam 1980, no. 275, p. 157 (ill.).


    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Carel Willink, 22 September -23 October 1961.
    Utrecht, Utrechtse Kring, Pyke Koch, Carel Willink, 6-28 March 1965.
    Deurne, Museum Dinghuis, Carel Willink, 3 April-3 May 1971.
    Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Carel Willink, 7 December 1973-20 January 1974, cat.no. 52-209.