Lot 8
  • 8

Jan Josefsz. van Goyen

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • A river landscape with a fully-laden ferry boat approaching a busy river bank
  • signed with monogram and dated lower left on the boat: VG 1650
  • oil on oak panel


Marquis de Veri (1722-1784);
His deceased sale, Paris, Paillet, 12 December 1785, lot 109 (for 420.1 livres);
R. Papin,
His deceased sale, Paris, Durand-Ruel/Pillet, 28 March 1873, lot 9 (for 15,000 francs);
With Steinmeyer, Lucerne, 1922;
Dr. James Simon (1851-1932), Berlin;
His sale, Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, 25 October 1927, lot 21 (for 15,000 florins);
E.J. Stokvis;
With Kunsthandels AG, Lucerne, 1934;
With W. Feilchenfeldt, Zurich, 1951;
With Großhennig, Düsseldorf, 1954;
With S. Nystad, The Hague;
Private collection, Saargebiet.


Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich-Museum, 1925, no. 127;
London, Royal Academy, 1929, no. 59;
Delft, Antiquitätenmesse, 1956.


C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. VIII, London 1927, p. 171, no. 647;
H. Volhard, Die Grundtypen der Landschaftsbilder Jan van Goyens und Ihre Entwicklung, (dissertation) Halle 1927, p. 182, reproduced;
H-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen. 1596-1656, vol. II, Amsterdam 1973, p. 252, cat. no. 542, reproduced.


The following condition report is provided by Rebecca Gregg, who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's. The single member oak panel appears in excellent condition; there are no planar deformations or repaired damages. The paint layers appear in very good condition, there are no obvious recent damages or loss and the adhesion between the paint and ground layers and the support appears good. There appears to be at least two campaigns of over-paint present these cover relatively minor losses, the most noticeable are small losses in the sky. There is a thickly applied natural resin varnish layer which fluoresces strongly in ultra violet examination and there is a light layer of surface dirt present. The painting was examined in the frame.
"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

In this late work by van Goyen the strict tonalities he favoured in the 1630s and '40s have been replaced by a more naturalistic palette.  Although there is still evidence of his earlier tonal bias towards orange-brown in the cottage group lower right, overall his colour range is much more varied, swathes of blue blend with the white clouds in the sky, the leaves of the trees are depicted in varying shades of green and the ferry boat group lower left are clothed in an assortment of blues, browns and oranges.  The painting is also marked out as a late work by van Goyen’s confident execution. 

This painting has a particularly illustrious provenance. It is first recorded in the collection of the Marquis de Veri who was one of the foremost Parisian collectors of his day.  During his lifetime he acquired an impressive collection of contemporary art bought directly from the artists.  His collection included eight works by Fragonard, a number by Greuze and paintings by  Hubert Robert, Joseph Vernet and Jean-Baptiste Pierre, as well as works by a number of seventeenth century Dutch masters.

In the first half of the 1920s the painting passed through the collection of one of the foremost German collectors of the last century, Dr James Simon. Simon was a German Jewish businessman who made his fortune in textile manufacturing.  By 1911 he was recorded as the sixth richest man in Germany and he held an influential, although unofficial, role at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  He was a noted art collector and archaeologist whose donations to Berlin’s state museums mark him out as possibly the most important benefactor the city has ever known.  Simon funded archaeological digs in Egypt, what was then known as Mesopotamia, and Central Asia and collected Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, Old Master paintings, works on paper, Japanese woodblock prints and European folk art.  During his lifetime, in 1920, he donated over 20,000 arts and antiquities to the German state including the famous bust of Nefertiti, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and its Processional Way, both now in the Neues museum and Andrea Mantegna’s Madonna and Child, Luca Giordano’s St. Michael and Thomas Gainsborough’s Joshua Grigby, all in the Gemäldegalerie.