His sale, Brussels, Lampe, 17 April 1883, lot 103, as signed and dated '1664', for 440 Francs to F. Schwarz, Vienna;
Mrs. Gries-Danican, Itzehoe;
With Dr. W. Katz, London, by 1954,
from whom acquired by D. Herbst, London;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 8 December 2004, lot 36;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 7 December 2007, lot 137.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., London 1923, vol. VII, p. 264, no. 1073;
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596 - 1656, Amsterdam 1973, p. 396, cat. no. 882, reproduced.
This painting is a fine and characteristic example of Van Goyen's late work, which includes a number of similar estuary scenes with calm waters and distant strips of land. These landscapes from the last two or three years of Van Goyen's life are very distinctive. For the most part scenes with larger expanses of water, they are characterized by big skies with billowing clouds painted with swift strokes of the very thickly laden brush over a sandy brown ground layer, which he allowed to show through throughout the painting, as can clearly be seen in the present work. Here, in stark contrast with the restricted palette of shades of brown, and the tranquility of the water, the powerful brushwork of the highlights in the sky and in the gun shot on the left, create a particular sense of atmosphere.
The composition with its low horizon is equally characteristic for the period. Other similar landscapes of this year and the following include one in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (inv. no. 415), another that was with Duits, London, by 1933, both signed and dated 1654, and one in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg (inv. no. 752), signed and dated 1655.1 The motif of the three-master firing a salute in the background is also one that occurs in at least two other compostions of these years, one that was with Nystad, The Hague, by 1968, and another that was with Knoedler & Co, London/New York, by 1973.2
1. See Beck, under Literature, pp. 395 and 399, cat. nos. 878-9, 887.
2. op.cit., pp. 397-8, cat. nos. 883-4.
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