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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Meindert Hobbema
A HAMLET IN A WOODLAND GLADE OF OAKS
Estimate
300,000400,000
JUMP TO LOT
33

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Meindert Hobbema
A HAMLET IN A WOODLAND GLADE OF OAKS
Estimate
300,000400,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

|
London

Meindert Hobbema
AMSTERDAM 1638 - 1709
A HAMLET IN A WOODLAND GLADE OF OAKS
signed lower left: m Hobbema
oil on oak panel
37 by 48.5 cm.; 14 1/2  by 19 1/8  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

A.N. Garland, 15 Queen's Gate, London;

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.

Exhibited

Berlin, Former gräflich Redern'schen Palais, Unter den Linden 1, Ausstellung von Werken alter Kunst aus dem Privatbesitz der Mitglieder des Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Vereins, 27 January - 4 March 1906, no. 63;

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.

Literature

E. Michel, Hobbema et les Paysagistes de son Temps en Hollande, Paris 1890, reproduced p. 33;

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.

Catalogue Note

This is a highly characteristic work of Hobbema's early maturity, datable circa 1663.  Hobbema trained with Jacob van Ruisdael shortly after the latter had moved from Haarlem to Amsterdam in the 1650s, but remarkably, Ruisdael's influence on the younger painter is not apparent until the beginning of the next decade, in circa 1662.  He achieved maturity with astonishing speed in the ensuing few years, and his fame rests on a group of landscapes painted between 1662 and 1668, most of which are composed along similar lines to the present example, with a hamlet of thatched timber-framed farmhouses nestling under oak trees growing in thin, sandy soil.  Hobbema's low viewpoint allows the viewer to see between the trunks of the oaks; a higher viewpoint would be obscured by foliage.  His subject matter is reminiscent of the drawings made by Ruisdael in the Eastern Netherlands in the early 1650s and the paintings that followed, but his own familiarity with this landscape, evident in many of his paintings, suggests that he may have visited the area himself, doubtless inspired by his teacher.  Several paintings by Hobbema incorporating depictions of actual watermills on the estate of Singraven near Denekamp in the wooded province of Overijssel support the likelihood that he too travelled in this region.

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.     

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

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London