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Jan ten Compe (Amsterdam 1713-1761)
Jan ten Compe (Amsterdam 1713-1761)

The Gelderse Kade, the Haan and Sleutels Brewery, and the Waag, Amsterdam

Jan ten Compe (Amsterdam 1713-1761)
The Gelderse Kade, the Haan and Sleutels Brewery, and the Waag, Amsterdam
signed 'I.T./Kompt' (lower right on the barrel)
oil on panel
15¾ x 20½ in. (39.9 x 52 cm.)
with Colnaghi's, London.
Vroom Collection, Amsterdam.
Charles Staal, Amsterdam.
with David Koetser, Zurich, 1994, where acquired by
Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesman, inv. no. A-I; Christie's, Amsterdam, 16 April 2002, lot 1221 (EUR 70,500).
with Salomon Lilian, New York, 2003, where acquired by the Hascoe family.
Salomon Lilian Gallery, Old Masters, Amsterdam and New York, 2003, no. 5 (catalogue by Burgemeister).
Greenwich, Bruce Museum, Old Master Paintings from the Hascoe Collection, 2 April-29 May 2005, no. 21 (catalogue by P. Sutton).

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Lot Essay

Known for his exceptional ability to paint highly naturalistic cityscapes, Jan ten Compe was one of the best topographical painters of his generation. Having received his early education in the Orphanage of the Reformed Church of Amsterdam (P. Sutton, loc. cit.), he received his artistic training under the decorative wallpaper and landscape painter Dirck Dalens III (1688-1753). Ten Compe became a citizen of Amsterdam in 1736, and as an independent artist, he won commissions from some of the most important patrons of his day, producing detailed views of country houses and townscapes of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities such as Haarlem, The Hague, and Utrecht.

In this impressive panoramic view of his native city, Ten Compe represents one of Amsterdam's major commercial centers, the Gelderse Kade and the Nieuwmarkt. On the left is the Haan & Sleutels Brewery, identifiable by the company's insignia of roosters and sheaves of wheat in medallions running up the façade. Between 1610 and 1888, this brewery was the largest supplier of beer to the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company), and evidence of their mercantile success is clearly on display here: stacks of barrels appear in front of the building, together with a large container of beer at far left on the landing of the Recht Boomsloot canal. At right, on the southside of the Nieuwmarkt, is the St. Antoniswaag ("Waag"), one of the artist's favorite subjects. Built in 1488 as a fortified gate for the city walls, beginning in 1617 the Waag was used as a weigh house, with the upper floors reserved for a surgeons college, an anatomy theater, the surgeons' guild hall, and the city's fencing academy (ibid.).

As Burgemeister first noted in 2003, when the painting was with Salomon Lilian Gallery (loc. cit.), there is a preparatory drawing for this panel in the Municipal Archives, Amsterdam (Historical Topographical Atlas, inv. no. K22-20). Minor variations suggest that the drawing, which is dated 1743, was made on site.

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