BAREND CORNELIS KOEKKOEK
Middleberg 1803 - 1862 Kleve
Castle in a wooded landscape
Signed and dated 1851; signed, dated, inscribed and authenticated with the artist's seal on the reverse
Oil on panel: 20 x 24 1/2 in / 50.8 x 62.2 cm
Framed size: 36 x 31 in / 91.4 x 78.7 cm
Galerie Hollander, Brussels, 1863
Mrs Holtius van Walchren
Sale, Frederick Muller, Amsterdam, 17th April 1888, lot 98
Herman Koekkoek Jnr, London, 1888
Private collection, Paris, then by descent
The Hague, Tentoonstelling van schilder- en andere werken van Levande Kunstenaars, 19th May 1851, no. 268: Een landschap (Sächsische Schweiz) bij morgenstond met ter markt gaande landlieden
F. Gorissen, B.C. Koekkoek 1803-1862, Wekverzeichnis der Gemalde, Dusseldorf, 1962, no. 51/50-2, as La citadelle
In this bucolic idyll, BC Koekkoek has skilfully created a radiant, panoramic landscape of the Rhineland, animated by travellers crossing a mountain lane. The scene is beautifully staged and dramatically lit to draw the eye into the picture and through the countryside. The luxuriant foreground foliage envelopes both the path on the right and the fortress on the left, behind which the wide, serpentine river winds its way into the distance. Its pale blue tonality fades as it draws towards a range of mountains on the horizon. The cool tones of the distant landscape on the left are presented in brilliant contrast to the warm, golden sunrise on the right, whose rays illuminate the exquisite detail captured by the master.
In 1851, when the present work was painted, Koekkoek was already established as an important landscape painter having won two gold medals at the Paris Salons of 1840 and 1843. In 1841 he created a drawing academy, the College Zeigen de Cleves, where he taught many young artists including his brother Marinus Adrianus Koekkoek (1807-1870), his brother-in-law Alexandre Joseph Daiwaille (1818-1888), Johann Bernard Klombeck (1815-1893), and Frederik Marinus Kruseman (1816-1882). During the same year he published his treatise Pensées et souvenirs d'un peintre de paysage in which he emphasised the importance of the faithful and rigorous representation of nature. Today is he considered the father of Dutch Romantic landscape painting.
We are grateful to Dr Guido de Werd, Director of the Museum Haus Koekkoek, Kleve, for his assistance with the cataloguing of this work.
BAREND CORNELIS KOEKKOEK
Middelburg 1803 - 1862 Kleve
Barend Cornelis Koekkoek was one of the most important figures of the Dutch Romantic School. He became famous for his wooded and forest landscapes and his snow scenes, filled with large trees, winding paths, hilltops, ruins and of Meindert Hobbema and Jan Wijnants. Although Koekkoek wrote in his memoirs that he was interested in the simplicity of nature, the idyllic atmosphere of many of his landscapes was conceived in the spirit of Romanticism.
Koekkoek was born in Middelburg and received his earliest tuition from his father Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek (1778 - 1851) who specialised in marine subjects and river scenes. He then studied under Abraham Krayestein at the Middelburg Drawing Academy and at the Amsterdam Academy between (1825 - 1826). He first lived in Hilversum and later in Amsterdam, spending the summers in the wooded Beek and Ubbergen. In 1833, Koekkoek married Elize Therese Daiwaille who was also a painter and in 1834 they settled at Kleve. He published his Memoirs and Reports of a Landscape Painter in 1841 and in 1845, Koekkoek was commissioned by the King of Holland to paint a series of landscapes.
Koekkoek regularly exhibited in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam between 1826 - 1862; he also showed work at the Paris Salon where he won medals in 1840 and 1845. He also was a member of the Amsterdam and St Petersburg Academies and was awarded the Netherlands Order of the Lion and the Belgian Order of Leopold.
The work of Koekkoek is represented in many museums including the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Stadtishches Museum Haus Koekkoek, Kleve.