VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
1 More
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
4 More
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)

Weilanden bij Rijswijk en de Schenkweg

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
Weilanden bij Rijswijk en de Schenkweg
gouache, pen and brush and ink on paper
15 3/8 x 22 1/4 in. (39 x 56.5 cm.)
Executed in the Hague in January-February 1882
Dr F.J. Michelsen, Amsterdam.
Anonymous sale, Frederik Muller & Cie, Amsterdam, 19 May 1920, lot 136.
D. Komter Art Gallery, Amsterdam, by whom acquired at the above sale.
H.P. Bremmer, The Hague, a gift from the above in 1921, until at least 1937.
Huinck & Scherjon, Amsterdam by 1953.
Wilhelm Weinberg, Scarsdale, New York, by 1955; sale, Sotheby & Co., London, 10 July 1957, lot 50.
Private Collection, United Kingdom, by whom acquired at the above sale, and thence by descent.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, 14 January 1882.
J.-B. de la Faille, L'oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh, Catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Paris & Brussels, 1928, no. 910, p. 20 (illustrated vol. II, no. 910, pl. XXII; titled 'Derrière le 'Schenkweg', la Haye').
W. Vanbeselaere, De Hollandsche Periode, 1880-1885, in het Werk van Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam, 1937, no. 910, pp. 78, 118, 145-146 & 408.
V. van Gogh, The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam, 1952, no. 170, p. 303 (sketch illustrated p. 305).
J. Hulsker, 'The Houses where Van Gogh Lived in the Hague', in Vincent: Bulletin Rijksmuseum, Vincent van Gogh, vol. I, no. 1, Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 2, 9 & 10-11 (sketch illustrated p. 3).
J.-B. de la Faille, The Works of Vincent van Gogh, His Paintings and Drawings, Amsterdam, 1970, no. F910, p. 338 (illustrated; titled 'The Schenkweg, The Hague').
W.J.A. Visser, Vincent van Gogh en 's-Gravenhage, The Hague, 1973, pp. 43-44.
M. van der Mast & C. Dumas, eds., Van Gogh en Den Haag, Zwolle, 1990, pp. 22-23 & 26 (illustrated p. 22).
J. Hulsker, The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam, 1996, no. 99, p. 32 (illustrated p. 33).
E. Heenk, Vincent van Gogh's drawings: An Analysis of their Production and Uses, London, 1996, pp. 46 & 48.
H. Balk, De Kunstpaus: H.P. Bremmer, 1871-1956, Bussum, 2006, p. 361.
L. Jansen, H. Luijten & N. Bakker, eds., Vincent van Gogh, The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, vol. II, The Hague, 1881-1883, New York, 2009, p. 20 (illustrated & sketch illustrated p. 22; titled 'Meadows beside Schenkweg').
L. Jansen, H. Luijten & N. Bakker, eds., Vincent van Gogh, The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, vol. VI, Commentary and Indexes, New York, 2009, p. 136 (titled 'Meadows beside Schenkweg').
Amsterdam, Huinck & Scherjon, Schilderijen, aquarellen, tekeningen en beeldhouwwerken uit de verzameling, June - July 1953, no. 11, n.p. (titled 'Derrière le Schenkweg').
New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Van Gogh, March - April 1955, no. 80, p. 26 (titled 'Behind the Schenkweg, The Hague').
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Vincent van Gogh, October - December 1956, no. 19, n.p. (titled 'Blick auf den Schenkweg'; with incorrect medium).
Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Vincent van Gogh Drawings, March - July 1990, no. 33, p. 85 (illustrated; titled 'View of the Schenkweg and the Railway Yard').
Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Van Gogh, June - November 2000, no. 2, pp. 255-256 (illustrated p. 150; titled 'Le Schenkweg et la gare de Rijnspoor').

Brought to you by

Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord Director, Senior Specialist

Lot Essay

Emerging at a crucial juncture in Vincent van Gogh’s early development as an artist, Weilanden bij Rijswijk en de Schenkweg is among the painter’s earliest explorations of colour in his depictions of the Dutch landscape. Executed in an array of delicate, softly modulated colour washes, the composition demonstrates the great leaps that were occurring in Van Gogh’s technique at this time, as he feverishly pursued his dream of becoming a professional artist. During this period the artist was living on the outskirts of the Hague, and his letters reveal his enthusiasm for the city and excitement as he embarked upon bold new experiments in drawing and painting. ‘You can imagine how stimulated I feel,’ he wrote to his brother Theo shortly after his arrival in late December 1881. ‘What will my work be like in a year […] what fills my head and heart must be expressed in drawings or paintings’ (Letter 194, in L. Jansen, H. Luijten and N. Bakker, eds., Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition, vol. 2, London, 2009, pp. 12-13).

In mid-January 1882, shortly after he had left his parents’ house in the aftermath of a blazing row, the artist sent Theo another letter from the Hague, in which he described the powerful new developments that were taking hold in his art. ‘Drawing is becoming more and more of a passion, and it’s just like a sailor’s passion for the sea,’ he wrote (Letter 200, in ibid., pp. 19-20). Most importantly though, his time studying with the artist Anton Mauve, a relative by marriage, had opened his eyes to the creative potentials of an entirely new medium: ‘Mauve has now shown me a new way to make something, namely watercolours. Well, now I’m immersed in that, and I’m daubing and washing out, in short, seeking and striving. For one must make desperate attempts. Because there’s something diabolical about the execution of a watercolour’ (ibid.). Towards the end of the letter, Van Gogh includes a small sketch of the view from his studio window looking northwards, almost exactly the same composition as seen in Weilanden bij Rijswijk en de Schenkweg.

Focusing his eye beyond the small courtyards that sat immediately behind the building that housed his studio, the artist presents an expansive view of the open, green meadows that sit at the edge of this part of town. A curving pathway snakes along the edge of the fields towards the recently built Rijnspoor railway station on the opposite side of the canal, offering an intriguing contrast between the pastoral landscape and the signs of modern industrialisation that were beginning to transform this part of the countryside. Throughout the composition, the artist pays careful attention to the small details of the scene, from the curving profile of the slight bridges that span the ditch between the meadows and the road, to the railway carts just visible in the distance, glimpsed amongst the trees as they trundle around the cluster of buildings that make up the station. On the pathway a trio of figures are huddled together and appear deep in conversation with one another, while further along a lone man steps onto the earthen bank, veering slightly off his path as he attempts to control the heavy load he carries in his wheelbarrow. Such stoic, hardworking rural labourers were an important leitmotif in Van Gogh’s oeuvre, and would become his principal focus towards the end of 1882 and into the following year, resulting in a series of richly worked character studies.

More from 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale

View All
View All