Cornelis Springer was a very productive painter of romantic town views with a keen eye for architectural detail. He painted townscapes throughout his life and could at times not fulfill client demand. Inspired by his tutor Kaspar Karsen (1810-1896), Springer initially painted fantasy town-views. He combined existing church walls, doorways, shops, squares and rows of houses into imaginary scenes. Springer mastered the play of light and shade of bright summer days, adding to the romantic atmosphere for which he so successfully strived. Townsfolk usually complement the scenes. In later years Springer favoured painting realistic townscapes, sometimes clothing his town dwellers in seventeenth century dress.
The topographical location of the present lot has not been identified, but it features one distinctly recognizable architectural detail, namely the sandstone gate. Springer had already depicted this gate two years earlier (see W. Laanstra, Cornelis Springer, 1984, p. 67, no. 49-3). In the present lot and the painting from 1849, the gate is shown from a similar angle, basking in sunlight and with a lady sitting next to it. In two almost identical paintings by Springer of a later date, this gate again is clearly distinguished, albeit from a different angle. These paintings, named 'The old house of Rembrandt at the St. Antoniebreestraat' (see Laanstra, op.cit, p. 82, no. 53-3 and p.98, no. 55-14) make us prudently assume that the gate depicted in the present lot is the gate of the Antoniebreestraat.
To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raissoné by Mr W. Laanstra, Oeuvre catalogus: Cornelis Springer 1817-1891, volume 1, cat.no. 51-6 (to be published in 2003).