By whom (anonymously) sold, London, Christie's London, 25 April 1903, lot 47, for 410 Guineas to Gribble;
With P. & D. Colnaghi, London;
Oscar Huldschinsky, Breslau, by 1906;
His sale, Berlin, Paul Cassirer und Hugo Helbing, 10 May 1928, lot 14, for 65,000 Reichsmarks to Böhler;
With Julius Böhler, Munich;
Leo van den Bergh, Wassenaar;
His sale, Amsterdam, S.J. Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 5 November 1935, lot 11, for 12,000 Florins;
Otto Wertheimer, Paris;
Dr Max Schmidheiny, Heerbrugg;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Christie's, 6 July 1990, lot 118, for £550,000;
With Noortman, Maastricht,
By whom sold to a private collector, U.S.A., by 2003;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), New York, Christie's, 23 January 2004, lot 28;
With Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht;
From whom acquired by the present owner.
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Meesterwerken uit Vier Eeuwen 1400-1800, 25 June - 15 October 1938, no. 90;
Greenwich, Connecticut, The Bruce Museum, The Pleasures of Collecting - Part 1, Renaissance to Impressionist Masterpieces, 21 September 2002 - 5 January 2003, p. 27.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., vol. IV, London 1912, p. 396, no. 126;
W. von Bode, Collection d'Oscar Huldschinsky, Berlin 1909, no. 14;
W. von Bode, Meindert Hobbema, Berlin 1909;
E. Michel, Meindert Hobbema, Paris 1927;
G. Broulhiet, Meindert Hobbema, Paris 1938, p. 399, no. 178, reproduced p. 191;
Meesterwerken uit Vier Eeuwen 1400-1800, exhibition catalogue, Rotterdam 1938, vol. I, p. 23, no. 90, reproduced vol II, p. 100, plate 155;
P.C. Sutton, The Pleasures of Collecting - Part 1, Renaissance to Impressionist Masterpieces, exhibition catalogue, Greenwich 2002, p. 27.
Hobbema seems to have painted very little after his marriage in October 1668, but the magisterial Avenue at Middelharnis in the National Gallery, London, very different in character to his wooded landscapes of the mid-1660s, is a glorious exception.
It is unusual to apply the term `early maturity` to an artist whose career started a decade earlier, but whose full maturity is reached over the next two or three years, and who virtually ceased to paint within five years. His compositions of the mid-1660s are very similar in type to the present work, which anticipates them in a sense of monumentality that belies its small scale, but he paints with an increased freedom with the brush, especially in his skies, where he sometimes uses almost vertical brushstrokes, and the sandy ground is more frequently lit by dappled sunlight. Perhaps too he becomes more at ease with larger works, generally on canvas.1 His strong sense of understanding of a very specific type of open oak woodland domesticated by farmhouses rarely alters, however. This painting, and the vast majority of his works from the mid-1660s (including those with watermills), give the viewer the impression that they are sites near each other in the same forest.
1. For example the painting now in the Mauritshuis, The Hague, sold in these Rooms, 7 December 1995, lot 25, for £3.74 million, or the larger picture now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, sold 11 July 2001, lot 37, for £6.5 million.
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