Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Lange Bleekerssloot with Barge

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Lange Bleekerssloot with Barge
signed ‘P.Mondrian’ (lower right)
oil on canvas laid down on panel
15 1/8 x 20 7/8 in. (38.5 x 53 cm.)
Painted circa 1898
Henk Mooij.
Mrs. A.J.W. Schouten-Hoogendijk, The Hague, by 1950 and until 1980.
Private collection, The Netherlands, by 1995.
Private collection, Roermond, by whom acquired at Tefaf, Maastricht, in 2013.
R. P. Welsh, The early career of Piet Mondrian: the naturalistic periods, Princeton, 1965, pp. 47-48 (illustrated p. 53).
R. P. Welsh, Catalogue Raisonné of the Naturalistic Works (until early 1911), vol. I, Toronto, 1998, no. A180, p. 227 (illustrated).

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Ishbel Gray
Ishbel Gray

Lot Essay

‘I was always a realist’, Mondrian wrote in a 1942 essay about his work entitled ‘Toward the True Vision of Reality’ (quoted in H. Janssen and J.M. Joosten, Mondrian, 1891-1914, The Path to Abstraction, exh. cat., Paris, 2002, p. 21).

Lange Bleekerssloot with Barge, depicts an Amsterdam canal. Identification of this scene as a segment of the Lange Bleekerssloot was made possible by the Landré drawing of the setting as viewed toward the Rozengracht, since the same pigeon perch is right off center above in this painting.
It is uncertain to what extent Mondrian shares the lament for the impending loss of a hallowed working-class quarter of Amsterdam as contained in the title of C. van Rijn’s article for Op de Hoogte: ‘what is left over of Amsterdam characteristic attire? In its combination of heavily laden, impulsive brush strokes and a nonetheless forcefully balanced asymmetrical composition this oil sketch places pictorial concerns ahead of topographical interest’.

Many scholars have noted the influence of the Hague School of painting on the young artist’s development by way of his uncle Fritz Mondriaan, the younger brother of his father and a younger member of the group. The subject, brushwork and treatment of light and space, all suggest the impact of his uncle’s training. The Dutch art historian Hans Jaffé eloquently describes the manner in which this influence can be found in Schemering. 'After picturesqueness', Jaffé writes, 'mood was the most important watchword of the Hague School; this picture complies with both. Its title, Dusk, already suggests a mood, the idyllic mood of departing day. And the contrasts of the dark fringe of the woods, the clouds, and the effects of light in the evening sky emphasize an extremely picturesque approach to landscap - the flat Dutch landscape, with its changing light and ever-varying mood, that was the main subject of the Hague school...' (H. Jaffé, Piet Mondrian, Paris, 1970, p. 66).

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