Lot 5
  • 5

Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael
  • A Ruined Castle Gateway, Possibly The Archway of Huis ter Kleef
  • signed in monogram lower right:  JR
  • oil on panel


Sir Francis Cook, 1st Bt. (1817-1901), Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey, by 1901, and thence by descent to;
Sir Frederick Cook, 2nd Bt. (1844-1920), Richmond, and thence by descent to;
Sir Herbert Cook, 3rd Bt. (1868-1939), Richmond, and thence by descent to;
Sir Francis Cook, 4th Bt. (1907-1978), Richmond;
From whom acquired by Nathan Katz (possibly in association with Agnew's), Dieren, summer 1939;
Sold through Walter Andreas Hofer to Herman Goering, 1940;
By whom sold through Hofer for RM 250,000, along with 8 other paintings, to Philipp Reemtsma, Hamburg, in September 1940;
Recovered by Allied Forces in November 1946 from Haus Neuerburg, Munich and sent to the Munich Central Collecting Point (no. 40520);
Given over to the Nederlands Kunstbezit, The Hague, 1947;
By whose authority sold, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller & Cie., 11-18 March 1952, lot 746;
With Pieter de Boer, Amsterdam;
From whom acquired by Herr Hans Gompertz Gevert, Rio di Janeiro, in 1952;
Thence by inheritance to his wife, Olga Gompertz Gevert, Rio di Janeiro;
From whom acquired directly by the present owner in 1968.


Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Pieter de Boer, Summer Exhibition of Old Master Paintings, 4 July - 24 August 1952, no. 47.


Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond. (Belonging to Sir Frederick Cook, Bart., Visconde de Monserrate), London 1907 & 1914, p. 24, no. 117 (as hanging in the Long Gallery); 
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. IV, London 1912, p. 242, no. 767;
J.O. Kronig, A Catalogue of the Paintings at Doughty House, Richmond and Elsewhere in the Collection of Sir Frederick Cook, Bt., vol. II, 1914 London, The Dutch and Flemish Schools, p. 95, no. 353, reproduced;
J. Rosenberg, Jacob Ruisdael, Berlin 1928, no. 480;
K.E. Simon, Jacob van Ruisdael, Berlin 1930, p. 36 (updated and revised version of 1927 doctoral dissertation);
Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey, in the Collection of Sir Herbert Cook, London 1932, p. 43, no. 353 (as hanging in the Long Gallery);
N. MacLaren, revised and expanded by C. Brown, National Gallery Catalogues:  The Dutch School 1600-1900, London 1991, vol. I, pp. 393-394 note 7, under no. 2562;
S. Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael:  A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, Drawings and Etchings, New Haven 2001, p. 96, no. 72, reproduced;
S. Reuther, Die Kunstsammlung Philipp F. Reemtsma, Berlin 2006, pp. 41, 43, 150.
N.H. Yeide, Beyond the Dreams of Avarice:  The Hermann Goering Collection, Dallas 2009, pp. 208, 419, no. A1533, reproduced.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting has not been restored for many years and presents an interesting opportunity. The panel is made from a complete piece of oak; there are no reinforcements on the reverse and there is no instability or splits to the surface. The painting is significantly dirty and will clean to reveal a palette more typical of the period. The paint layer is very robust and even in the sky where thinness for pictures of this period is expected, there is only a small amount of discolored retouching. The profiles of the trees may be very slightly worn but the condition of the foreground and landscape seems to be particularly good. Overall the condition seems to be very good.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

This view of picturesque ruins is a smaller version of a composition in the National Gallery, London (cat. no. 2562), which is datable to the first half of the 1650s.  Although in 1930 Simon published this picture as postdating the National Gallery version, Slive has more recently argued that it actually predates the larger picture (see Literature). 

The identification of the ruined archway as that of Huis ter Kleef is based on the similarity between Ruisdael's two compositions and a pen and brown ink drawing of the decaying castle by Jan van de Velde in the collection of the Teyler Museum, Haarlem.  Although Ruisdael's double archway is more dilapidated -- the secondary arch has here collapsed at its apogee -- it recalls Van de Velde's quite convincingly.  Ruisdael, however, seems to have adopted the opposite viewpoint from his predecessor:  rather than depicting the buildings from a distance looking in towards the castle, he appears to be standing within the ruined structure, looking out over the plains.  The tiny figure walking with his dog along the dirt path draws attention to the massive scale of the architecture, which is in turn dwarfed by the verdant trees and expansive sky. 

Huis ter Kleef, which was originally known as Huis te Schoten, received its current name in 1403, when it was given to Margaret of Cleves (c. 1375-1411), Countess of Holland.  Located about a mile and a half to the north of Haarlem's city center, the castle was a prominent landmark well known to the city's residents.  When the Netherlands came under Spanish rule in the 16th century and Catholicism became the only officially recognized religion, Huis ter Kleef was in the possession of the Van Brederode family, who regularly allowed Protestant religious services to be held there.  In retaliation for such actions, the castle was confiscated from the family. Beginning in 1572, The Duke of Alva's son, Don Frederick de Toledo, used Huis ter Kleef as his headquarters for the devastating seven month siege he led against Haarlem, finally subduing the city in 1573.  In order to prevent the castle from falling into rebel hands, Don Frederick blew it up as he and his troops withdrew.  The ruins then served as a quarry for building materials until they were purchased by the city of Haarlem in 1713.  Ruisdael completed another view of the site, taken from a far more distant view point, in the late 1670s:  View of the Ruins of Huis ter Kleef and Haarlem, Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris (no. 416).

A third version of A Ruined Castle Gateway by an unknown hand was formerly in the Rohan collection and appeared on the market in London, Sotheby's, 12 December 1962, lot 16.

We are grateful to John Somerville, Keeper of the Cook Collection Archive, for his help in cataloguing the present lot.

We are also grateful to Lynn Nicholas for her help in cataloguing this lot.