26 January 2011
Property from the Corcoran Gallery of Art to Benefit the Acquisition Fund
Jan Josefsz. van Goyen (Leiden 1596-1656 The Hague)
A river landscape with fishermen on shore
signed with the artist's monogram and dated 'VG 51' (lower center, on the boat)
oil on panel
15¾ x 22¾ in. (39.5 x 58 cm.)
Gottfried von Preyer, Vienna, from whom acquired en bloc by
W.A. Clark, New York.
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C. Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné..., etc., Cambridge, 1976, VIII, p. 146, no. 581.
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen, 1596-1656, Amsterdam, 1973, II, p. 255, no. 552.
The church on the far bank of this landscape can possibly be identified as the Bovenkerk in Kampen, in the western province of Overijssel, The Netherlands. On the near bank fishermen pull in nets and load fishing baskets, while various small skiffs come and go along the river IJssel.
The present lot was painted in 1651. By this time van Goyen favored a transparent preparation for his panels, using ground glass or colorless smalt, which allowed the color and grain of the panel to be incorporated into his compositions. The narrative detail provided by the few confident inky brushstrokes used in the figures here attests to van Goyen's lasting gifts as not only a painter of nature and light but as an accomplished storyteller.
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