15 - 16 November 2016
Cornelis Springer (Amsterdam 1817-1891 Hilversum)
A view of the Brouwersgracht, Haarlem
signed and dated 'C Springer 1890' (lower right); and authenticated and titled by the son of the artist 'De ondergetekende verklaart dat deze / schilderij voorstellende de Brouwersgracht / te Haarlem vervaardigd door zijn vader / wijle den kunstschilder Cornelis Springer / en afkomstig is van diens atelier / Hilversum 6 mei 1891 / Leonard Springer' (on a label attached to the reverse); and with the artist's seals
oil on panel
31 x 41.5 cm.
The artist studio, Hilversum; his sale, Frederik Muller & Cie., Amsterdam, 1 December 1891, lot 16, where acquired by the family of the present owner (Dfl. 225).
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Willem Laanstra, H. C. de Bruijn, Dr. J. H. A. Ringeling, Cornelis Springer (1817-1891), Utrecht, 1984, p. 213, no. 90-1.
Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Frans Jacobs, Cornelis Springer: Geschilderde steden, July 1994.
Cornelis Springer is considered to be one of the most important and influential architectural painters of the 19th century. Born into an Amsterdam family of building contractors and architects, it is clear why he became the townscape painter par excellence. He studied under the auspices of the well-known and celebrated architectural painter Kasparus Karsen (1810-1896, see: lot 202). In the two years that Springer was his apprentice, he would learn how to create capriccio city views intertwined with topographically correct elements. It was the contemporary trend for painters in his circle to idealize the past and especially the Dutch national heritage. However, from the 1850s onwards, Springer moved towards a more realistic subject matter. He chose to abandon the fantasy elements within his work and concentrated on existing topographical locations as can be seen in the present lot. Although Springer would still keep some artistical freedom in his rendering of cityscapes. The present lot is an excellent example of Springer's realistic and topographically correct style. Depicted here is the Brouwersgracht in Haarlem. The treatment of light in the present painting is masterfully done, the sun enters the painting from the right which would in reality be the South, suggesting it is midday.
From the 1850's onwards Springer had reached such fame that he only worked on commission for private collectors and dealers. A waiting list of two years in this period bears testimony to the great popularity of his work. A patron would choose a composition on the basis of sketches, after which Springer would paint the subject in oil. Springer was a diligent worker who carefully recorded his studio activities. His notebooks reveal exactly how many days he worked on a particular painting and even in which part of the day he worked on it.
Please note that in the late 19th Century the Brouwersgracht received it’s name due to the many breweries which were located in this street, the official name of the street is the Bakenessergracht.
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