Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)
Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)

A View of Cleves

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (Dutch, 1803-1862)
A View of Cleves
signed and dated 'BC Koekkoek fec. 1847' (lower left)
oil on panel
12 x 16 in. (30.4 x 40.6 cm.)
with Gallerie Rudolf von Arthaber, Wien 1847.
Anonymous sale; P. Kaeser, Vienna, 20-21 April 1868, lot 68 (fl. 1671). Acquired at the above sale by Conrad Bühlmeyer.
Anonymous sale; H. O. Miethke, Vienna, 4 March 1884, lot 88 (fl. 5060). Acquired at the above sale by Reichert, Loscher.
with Kunsthandel Abels, Cologne.
Mr W. Schleipen, Emmerich, until 1970.
Anonymous Sale; Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 20 May 1974, lot 39 (fl. 120,000).
with MacConnal-Mason & Son, London, 1997.
Kunstkronyk 1868, 80.
F. von Boetticher, Malerwerke des Neunzehten Jahrhunderts, I-2, Frankfurt 1891/1969, p. 761, no. 6.
F. Gorissen, B.C. Koekkoek 1803-1862: Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Düsseldorf, 1962, no. 47/30-2 (illustrated and additionally illustrated on cover and frontispiece).
G. de Werd, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862) seine Familie, seine Schule und das Haus Koekkoek in Kleve, Cleves, 2000, p. 9 (detail illustrated).
Cleves, Städtisches Museum Haus Koekkoek, Ausstellung B.C. Koekkoek, 24 June-30 September 1962, no. 56.

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Alexandra McMorrow
Alexandra McMorrow

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Lot Essay

The present lot is instantly recognisable as the cover of the catalogue raisonné on the artist published by Friedrich Gorissen in 1962. The choice of image is hardly surprising, for it depicts a view of Cleves, the town where Barend Cornelis Koekkoek settled in 1834, grew his career and reputation, and established his famed drawing academy.

At the age of 30 Koekkoek settled with his wife Elise Thérèse, daughter of his old master at the Amsterdam Academy Jean Augustin Daiwaille, in Cleves. By 1842, Koekkoek's success meant that he could move out of his modest rented house, and acquire grander premises on an a large piece of sloping land which bordered directly on the city wall. At its highest point the foundations of an old city tower were still present. Koekkoek expanded on these and erected his purpose-built studio, The Belvedere, which gave the artist wonderful views of the town.

In the present painting, the Belvedere, with its tower crowned by the statue of Pallas Athena, can be seen just to the left of the centre of the composition. The topographical accuracy, the variegated treatment of light, the multi-layered pictorial planes and the subtle staffage make the present painting remarkable even by Koekkoek's high standards.

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

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