Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Johannes Bosboom (Dutch, 1817-1891)
Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the H… Read more The following two lots are very fine paintings of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam by Johannes Bosboom. By 1850 Bosboom was well established as a painter of church-interiors. Around that year he started painting the interior of the Jewish Synagogues in Amsterdam and The Hague. The Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam has been described time and again as one of Amsterdam's foremost buildings, constructed about three-quarters of a century after the arrival of the first Sephardi Jews in The Netherlands. Built by Elias Bouman between 1671 and 1675, and consecrated in 1675, it was at that time the one of the largest and most celebrated houses of worship in Western Europe. Its interior became the prototype for numerous Sephardi Synagogues across the world including in London and New York. Today the Portuguese Synagogue houses the Ets Haim Library (Tree of Life Library) which contains one of the world's foremost collections of Sephardi writings. During his artistic career Bosboom painted the Portuguese Synagogue several times. He was deeply impressed by the dimensions and scale of the building and the play of light inside. These elements played an important role in his depiction of events in the synagogue. In contrast to his Hague School colleagues, who tried to render the atmosphere of nature, Bosboom was interested in interiors; in this case capturing the atmosphere and mysticism of the Portuguese synagogue during the Sabbath-celebration. In both of the present compositions we look towards the Teba where the Torah is read and beyond this the outline of the Ark that still exists today is visible. In 1917 Bosbooms biographers G.H. Marius and W. Martin wrote the following concerning Bosbooms synagogue-series: 'In dezelfde jaren was het, dat Bosboom de Synagoge vond, het gegeven, waarin hij [...] met zijn schilderen het hoogtepunt zou bereiken. Sinds '50 teekent, aquarelleert en schildert hij de Amsterdamsche en Haagsche synagogen. Zoo men wil, zijn hier de eerste invloeden van Rembrandt herkenbaar, zoowel in de soms fantastisch verlichte figuren als in de kleur en allicht later nog meer in de meerdere vrijheid in de verdeeling van licht en schaduw, welke de meer bewegelijke Sabbath-viering, met meer levendigheid dan in de rustig zittende protestantsche gemeente voorkomt, den schilder toelaat' (see: G.H. Marius, Johannes Bosboom, The Hague, 1917, p. 40). Later on, referring to lot 146, Marius writes: 'In 1873 voltooide hij een "prachtige" synagoge zoals mevrouw Bosboom ze noemt, die tevens zegt, dat dit werk hem veel moeite heeft gekost. Dat dit de groote Synagoge van den Heer Cremer is, is niet onwaarschijnlijk' (see: G.H. Marius, op.cit., p. 66).
Johannes Bosboom (Dutch, 1817-1891)

The Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam

Johannes Bosboom (Dutch, 1817-1891)
The Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam
signed 'J. Bosboom' (lower right)
oil on panel
66.5 x 48.3 cm.
Acquired directly from the artist by Mr F.H.M. Post, The Hague.
Anonymous sale, Roos & Cie., Amsterdam, 14 April 1891, lot 12, as: Service du Matin.
Mr J.S. Cremer, The Hague/Santpoort.
Anonymous sale, Mak, Amsterdam, 7 April 1925, lot 24: Le service du Matin (f.12.000).
Mr C.G. Vattier Kraane, Amsterdam.
Anonymous sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, 22 March 1955, lot 43 (f. 13.800).
Mr K.F. Zeeman, Amsterdam.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 25 April 1988, lot 12.
G.H. Marius a.o., Johannes Bosboom, The Hague, 1917, p. 51, ill. 21, as: Portugeesche Synagoge te Amsterdam.
The Hague, Tentoonstelling van Levende Meesters, 1878, cat.no. 55, as: Synagoge (on loan from Mr F.H.M. Post).
Amsterdam, Arti et Amiciciae, Tentoonstelling van eenige schilderijen uit particuliere verzamelingen, May 1886, cat.no. 1 (on loan from Mr F.H.M. Post).
The Hague, Pulchri Studio, Johannes Bosboom, November 1891, cat.no. 31 (on loan from Mr J.T. Cremer, The Hague).
Amsterdam, Arti et Amiciciae, Johannes Bosboom, August-September 1900, cat.no. 56.
Rotterdam, Rotterdamse Kunstkring, Johannes Bosboom, October-November 1900, cat.no. 19, as: Portugeesche Synagoge te Amsterdam (on loan from Mr J.T. Cremer, The Hague).
Amsterdam, Larensche Kunsthandel, Jubileum tentoonstelling Johannes Bosboom, February 1917, cat.no. 48 (on loan from Mr J.T. Cremer, Santpoort).
The Hague, Pulchri Studio, Johannes Bosboom, 21 April-31 May 1917, cat.no. 55 (on loan from Mr J.T. Cremer, Santpoort).
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Exhibition of Dutch Art 1450-1900, 1929, cat.no. 446 (on loan from Mr C.G. Vattier Kraane, Amsterdam).
Amsterdam, Frans Buffa & Zonen, Bosboom tentoonstelling, February-March 1931, cat.no. 12 (on loan from Mr C.G. Vattier Kraane, Amsterdam).
Delft, Prinsenhof, Johannes Bosboom, 24 December 1958-2 February 1959, cat.no. 32 (on loan from Mr K.F. Zeeman).
Special notice

Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.

More from 19th CenturyEuropean Art

View All
View All