Lot 129
  • 129

Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten
  • A Mediterranean harbour, with the Dutch vessel Profeet Elias at anchor
  • signed and dated lower right: BEERSTRAT / 1650
  • oil on oak panel, an unidentified old red seal on the reverse


Heinrich Viewig (1826–1890), Schloß Windhausen, near Brunswick;
By descent to Helen Tepelman (née Viewag);
Her sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 1 February 1940, lot 1;
Anonymous sale, Frankfurt, Heinrich Hahn, 6 March 1941, lot 22;
Where acquired by Professor Hermann Giesler (1898–1987) for RM 8,500;
Found with the inventory of the Generalbaurat, Munich (Toeplenliste no. 123) by the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section and transferred to the Munich Central Collecting Point, 28 August 1945 (inv. no. 7836);
Transferred to the office of the Ministerpresident by the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section, 10 June 1949;
Anonymous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 5 June 1975, lot 14;
Anonymous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 20 November 1975, lot 17;
With John Hoogsteder, The Hague, 1977;
The Collection of Mahmoud S. Rabbani, Netherlands;
His sale, London, Sotheby's, 11 April 1990, lot 102;
A prominent American collection, North Carolina;
Anonymous sale, North Carolina, Brunk, 17 November 2013, lot 1194.


T. James-Kester, Old Masters from the Collection of M.S. Rabbani, Wassenaar 1983, pp. 18–19, reproduced cat. no. 1.

Catalogue Note

There is no evidence that Beerstraten ever visited Italy and so the classical and medieval buildings in this composition are probably imaginary, inspired by the work of earlier seventeenth-century Dutch artists such as Bartholomaus Breenburgh and Thomas Wyck.

As indicated by the painting depicting Elijah being fed by a raven on the ornate transom of the ship at anchor in the harbour, and the coat of arms with the lion of Holland on the sternrail above, this vessel can be identified as the the Dutch merchantman the Profeet Elias, or Prophet Elijah. In 1650, the date of the present work, the vessel sailed from Smyrna, then part of the Ottoman Empire, on the Anatolian coast, to Venice, arriving in the latter on 2 July. We are grateful to Dr. Remmelt Daalder and Dr. Cecile Bosman of the Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam, for their help in identifying the vessel.