Anonymous sale, Bremen, Bolland & Marotz, 6 December 1997, lot 569a.
Jacob van Strij spent much of his life in the pursuit of imitating his fellow townsman Aelbert Cuyp and made numerous copies of his work (see also lot 97 in this sale). Indeed, several of his works were, until only relatively recently, considered to be by the hand of this 17th Century master. Van Strij's style however, characterised by a thick application of paint and crisp, striking lighting effects, is altogether more obvious than that of Cuyp. The broad handling of this picture is reminiscent of watercolour winter landscapes by Jacob and Abraham van Strij.
The actual painting is less dark and softer in tone, than the catalogue illustration suggests. The panel consists of one plank which is flat and stable, blackened to the reverse and is bevelled on the upper, left and right edge, and lightly bevelled to the lower edge. The paint surface seems to be in good condition. Some thinness can be observed in the sky, which has been retouched, e.g. in the upper right corner and to the left. A few discoloured retouchings can be observed in the figures, and in the trees to the left. The impasto in the tree to the right is still nicely preserved. The paint surface is under a slightly dirty varnish layer. Inspection under ultra violet light reveals that the varnish layer is unevenly cleaned, but does reveal the retouchings in the figures, trees and house to the left. Offered in a carved and gilt wood frame, a few damages. (ML) "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."