• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 3066

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - including Dutch Impressionism

    15 - 16 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 192

    Wijnandus Johannes Josephus Nuyen (The Hague 1813-1839)

    A busy harbour in Normandy

    Price Realised  


    Wijnandus Johannes Josephus Nuyen (The Hague 1813-1839)
    A busy harbour in Normandy
    signed and dated 'WJJ. Nuyen. / 36' (lower right)
    oil on canvas laid down on board
    81 x 110 cm.

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    Nuyen started his artistic career at the age of 12 receiving his training from the famous romantic landscape painter and his father-in-law Andreas Schelfhout (1787-1870). As a most illustrious ending to his studies at the ’s-Gravenhaagsche Teken Academie - between 1825 and 1829 -, he was awarded in 1829 the gold medal by the Genootschap Felix Meritis in Amsterdam for his work Landschap met hoeve. This first official success established Nuyen's reputation as an admired and respected landscape painter. Although Nuyen was often misunderstood by the critics, he was readily appreciated by his colleagues and he received many awards. The confrontation with the work of the French romantic landscape painters as Théodore Gudin (1802-1880), Eugène Isabey (1803-1886) and Eugène Lepoittevin (1806-1870) - which he saw during his visit to Paris in 1833 with his friend Antonie Waldorp (1803-1866) - was important to the development of his artistic career. After his visit to France, his interpretation of the subject, approach to form and colour and daring style developed quickly and he was revolutionary in his daring use of colour and loose brushstrokes. In contrast to his Dutch contemporaries, who sought to achieve a faithful representation of nature in every detail, Nuyen painted fantasy compositions of the kind he had seen in France. His voyage to Germany the same year, strengthened his resolve to change his typical Dutch romantic style in a more 'foreign' romanticism in which fantasy was allowed. Nuyen can be seen as one of the rare ‘real’ romantics of his time and critics appreciated him as the first and in fact only Dutch representative of Romanticism. The appearance on the market of a painting by the young, near-legendary Wijnand Nuyen is a rare event as his oeuvre is very modest and a large percentage of his work is nowadays in the collection of museums.


    Acquired by a German entrepreneur circa 1830-40 during his travels in the South of Europe and Germany, and by descent to the present owner.


    Hamburg, Altonaer Museum (on loan, circa 1970).