Christie's charge a premium to the buyer on the final bid price of each lot sold at the following rates: 23.8% of the final bid price of each lot sold up to and including €150,000 and 14.28% of any amount in excess of €150,000. Buyers' premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.
We would like to thank Anneke de Jong for her help in cataloguing the collection of works by Willem Bastiaan Tholen (lots 186-193).
THE PROPERTY OF A DUTCH PRIVATE COLLECTOR
The following collection of paintings and a sketchbook by Willem Bastiaan Tholen provide a wonderful insight into his oeuvre. His early work is appropriately represented with two attractive paintings of the village of Giethoorn (lots 188 and 193) which Tholen first visited in 1880. He would often return accompanied by the older artist Paul Gabriël who exerted a significant influence on his early artistic development. This period is characterised by Tholen's use of a relatively strong and lively palette.
From 1885 onwards, Tholen spent many summers together with his friend Willem Witsen in Witsen's countryhouse the 'Ewijkshoeve.' Located in the picturesque woods of Soestdijk near Zeist, the 'Ewijkshoeve' served as a meeting place for artists such as Anton Mauve, George Breitner, Willem Maris Jr, Jacobus van Looy, Eduard Karsen, Piet Meinders, Jan Veth and Jan Toorop. During a stay here Tholen met his future wife Coba Muller, with whom he eventually moved to The Hague. Lot 189 is a lovely example of a painting inspired by one of these visits.
In 1890 the young Tholen and his wife moved to the house 'Kanaalvilla' situated on the channel by the 'Witte Brug' between The Hague and Scheveningen. The 'Kanaalvilla', which Tholen shared with the family of Paul Arntzenius, offered a beautiful garden. The towboats which would often pass soon became a recurring subject in Tholen oeuvre. Lot 191 is a splendid example of this theme and reflects Tholen's affection for the land surrounding his house.
Lots 186 and 187 are exemplary of the paintings he produced soon after he had his ship 'Eudia' built in Enkhuizen in 1901. Tholen would often make tours of the inland waters around The Hague and the Zuiderzee, visiting towns such as Enkhuizen and Volendam. The sketchbook included in the present collection (lot 190) was probably executed in the latter part of his life. Tholen's friend and biographer Knuttel (who previously owned lot 186) notes that the artist's love for Enkhuizen was in fact reciprocal: once the news of Tholen's death reached Enkhuizen the flag in the tower was hung at half-mast.
Lot number 192 depicting a garden party at dusk is an enchanting representation of a gathering on a warm summer's evening where the lingering heat of the sun and the whirling movement of the crowd is palpable. One of Tholen's particular talents lies in his ability to express the complexities of light in paint, and this work clearly bears witness to this remarkable aptitude.
The collection presented here is testimony to Tholen's creative diversity and development even though his portraits and genre-subject paintings are absent. Each of these delightful paintings demonstrates and affirms the important position which Tholen occupies within the Dutch fin-de-siecle.