123
123
Cornelis Troost
'DRINKENBURG' (THE MORNING AFTER)
Estimate
300,000400,000
JUMP TO LOT
123
Cornelis Troost
'DRINKENBURG' (THE MORNING AFTER)
Estimate
300,000400,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings

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New York

Cornelis Troost
AMSTERDAM 1696 - 1750
'DRINKENBURG' (THE MORNING AFTER)
Gouache, with some pastel, within black borders, on paper laid down on canvas;
signed on the wall, centre left: CTroost and inscribed, on the gateposts: drinken / Bürg
440 by 635 mm; 17 3/8  by 25 in
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Possibly anon. sale, Amsterdam, 29 October 1892, lot 302,
to Assenduynen (as a pastel);
sale, Amsterdam, 16-18 June 1908 (property of Jhr. A. Boreel, et al.), lot 577, to Dirksen;
with J. Goudstikker, Amsterdam (bears Goudstikker seal, and label with inv. no. 2085, on reverse of stretcher);
A.C.W. Baron Bentinck van Schoonheeten;
thence by descent,
sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 9 November 1999, lot 181,
where acquired by the present owners

Exhibited

Munich, Schloss Rohoncz, 1930, no. 325 (as 'Der Trunkenbold');
Paris, Institut Néerlandais, Choix de la Collection Bentinck : en souvenir de l'ambassadeur des Pays-Bas, 1970, no. 50;
Boston, St. Botolph Club, A Selection of Dutch 18th Century Drawings and Watercolors from the Gordon Collection, 2003, no. 12

Literature

L. Brieger, Das Aquarell, circa 1920, p. 130, reproduced;
J. Knoef, Cornelis Troost, Amsterdam 1947, pp. 39 and 44, reproduced;
J.W. Niemeijer, in E.R. Mandle, Dutch Masterpieces from the Eighteenth Century: Paintings & Drawings 1700-1800, exhib. cat., The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Toledo Museum of Art and The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1971-2, p. 15;
J.W. Niemeijer, Cornelis Troost 1696-1750, Assen 1973, pp. 377-8, no. 823 T, reproduced

Catalogue Note

In this typically satirical scene, Troost depicts a group of gentlemen emerging at sunrise – much the worse for wear – from the gates of a country house which is aptly named ‘Drinkenburg’. While the gentlemen carouse, open yet more bottles, or relieve themselves against the garden wall, a clergyman already slumbers in a splendid coach; the coachman, and also it would seem the horses and the solitary lemur sitting on the wall, look on the scene of debauchery with knowing glances, tinged with slight alarm. In the far distance, set against the golden horizon, stands Haarlem’s Groote Kerk, with ruins reminiscent of the historic castle of Brederode to the right, but the poetic beauty of the landscape, which dominates the top and right parts of the composition, is ignored by the oblivious revelers in the foreground.

Like his English contemporary William Hogarth, Troost frequently treated subjects of this type, satirizing the behavior of ‘gentlefolk’ in compositions that combine wry, sometimes harsh, observation with an elegance that to some extent belies their subject-matter; and his technique and use of color is also invariably stylish and brilliantly refined. The most celebrated works by Troost treating subjects of this type are his five splendid pictures in the Mauritshuis, the so-called NELRI series of 1739, which depict the various stages of an evening of drunken revelry1; but those works, executed with supreme subtlety and sophistication in a highly original combination of pastel and gouache, are as different in spirit as they are similar in theme to their counterparts in Hogarth’s œuvre, series such as The Rake’s Progress or Marriage A-la-Mode, which were made as paintings, but primarily conceived as the models for widely-circulated prints. Troost’s works, on the other hand, were generally made on commission for specific, aristocratic patrons, and therein lies their fundamental difference.

The last of the NELRI series, entitled Those Who Could Walk Did; the Others Fell, shows a similar scene, but at night, and incorporates a very similar coach and horses. This motif also occurs in other works by the artist, including a smaller, monochrome drawing, also showing drunken gentlemen leaving a county house at dawn, which Niemeijer describes as a study for the present work.2  That drawing is dated 1742, a dating that also seems reasonable for Drinkenburg, which can therefore be considered as a slightly later reworking of the theme of the final NELRI composition. But it stands apart from most of Troost’s work in the way it combines his familiar satirical humour with an element of highly poetic landscape.

This hugely entertaining and visually engaging work, executed in a mixture of gouache and pastel that is more or less unique to Troost, established an auction record price for the artist when it was last sold, in 1999.  That record still stands, for the simple reason that no other work by Troost of anything like the same quality has appeared on the market in the intervening two decades.  

1.  E. Buijsen and J. W. Niemeijer, Cornelis Troost and the Theatre of his Time, exh. cat. The Hague, Mauritshuis, 1993, cat. nos. 27-31
2.  Heino, Stichting Hannema-de Steurs, cat. 1967, no. 339; J.W. Niemeijer, op. cit., 1973, pp. 378-9, no. 824 T, reproduced

Old Master Drawings

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