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    Sale 2819

    Impressionist and Modern Art

    10 June 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 167

    George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923)

    De Nieuwe Teertuinen te Amsterdam (winter): Amsterdam in Winter

    Price Realised  


    George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923)
    De Nieuwe Teertuinen te Amsterdam (winter): Amsterdam in Winter
    signed 'G.H. Breitner' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    80 x 130 cm.
    Painted between 1900-1904.

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    The Nieuwe Teertuinen on the Prinseneilandsgracht in Amsterdam, was seen by Breitner from his studio on the Prinseneiland number 24b, where he worked from 1898 until 1914. Since Breitner's move from The Hague to Amsterdam in 1886, until his death in 1923, he changed accommodations and studios almost eighteen times, but this would be his last studio. After 1914 Breitner started working out of his home, partly because he thought it was too difficult to keep the studio at the Prinseneiland nicely heated. Breitner himself designed the studio at the Prinseneiland which was built by C.J. Maks, the father of the artist Kees Maks (1876-1967). C.J. Maks made an agreement with Breitner to rent him the apartment for a very reasonably price if Breitner agreed to teach his son, who had a studio at number 24a, for a period of three years. George Hendrik Breitner was at the turn of the century already a well- known artist in the Netherlands, as was demonstrated by a very successful retrospective exhibition at the artist society Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam in 1901. From that moment Breitner belonged to the cultural establishment and could be considered the foremost chronicler of city life. In that same year the State purchased the painting Horse Artillery for the new Rijksmuseum, which gave his reputation further standing.

    The present lot depicts the façades of the Nieuwe Teertuinen on the Prinseneilandsgracht, with the tons of the tar dealership 'De Roo Vos' in the foreground. This was the only place where it was allowed to store the flammable substance tar. The 'Teertuinen' used to be situated at the Prins Hendrikkade until they were replaced to the north-west in 1643, to the former Sloterdijkgracht near the Haarlemmerpoort. Hence the 'Oude Teertuinen' became the 'Nieuwe Teertuinen'. Breitner repeatedly used the views which could be seen from his studios as a subject for his work. He depicted the view of the Nieuwe Teertuinen several times in his paintings, sketches and watercolours, but every time he would include subtle changes. Please compare to a similar version in watercolour sold in these rooms on April 15th 2008, lot 164 (fig. 1).

    Breitner's work evolved during the last years of the 19th century and his compositions became more daring and confronting, as is shown in the present lot. In this period the photocamera was introduced and Breitner began to take snapshots of the subject he wanted to use in his pictures. For him, photographs could capture the movement he wanted to convey on the canvas (fig. 2). The snow-covered quay and rooftops of the houses exude the serenity of a cold winter morning, with the only activity being that of the workers off the tar dealership 'De Roo Vos'. The painting shows a striking contrast in colour between the white sky, snow-covered quay and rooftops, and the subdued pigments of the façades of the houses and canal, which makes this painting remarkably impressive. The disregard for detail in favour of colour and impression makes the present lot a good example of Breitner's later work. His bold brushstrokes are very vivid and direct and his monochrome palet combined with the subject are characteristic for the paintings which were executed in Breitner's years on the Prinseneiland.

    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.


    Kunsthandel E.J. van Wisselingh & Co, Amsterdam, circa 1904, inv.no. S 3305, as: Teertuinen, Prinseneilandsgracht.
    Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon N.V., Amsterdam, 1962, inv.no. 1134, as: De Teertuinen in de sneeuw.
    Mr. B. Meijer, Wassenaar, inv.no. 221.


    A. Pit a.o.,George Hendrik Breitner, Indrukken en biografische aantekeningen van A. Pit, W. Steenhoff, Dr. J. Veth en Prof. Dr. W. Vogelsang [..], Amsterdam 1904-1908, p. 175, ill., as: De nieuwe teertuinen te Amsterdam (Winter).
    A.M. Hammacher, Amsterdamsche Impressionisten en hun kring, Nijmegen 1941, cat.no. 54, p. 115, ill., as: De Teertuinen in de sneeuw, Amsterdam (where dated after 1900).
    Willem L. Baars, Wie bepaalt de waarde van kunst, Amsterdam 2009, ill..


    Enkhuizen, Zuiderzee Museum, Mijn Kunst, Verzamelaars delen hun passie, 5 June 2008-4 January 2009.