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PROPERTY FROM A GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek
DUTCH
A WOODED PATH
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 93,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
30

PROPERTY FROM A GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek
DUTCH
A WOODED PATH
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 93,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

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London

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek
1803-1862
DUTCH
A WOODED PATH
signed and dated BCKoekkoek f / ano 1833 lower right
oil on canvas
130 by 105.5cm., 51 by 41½in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Simon van Walchren van Wadenoyen, Nimmerdor
Sale: Goupil, The Hague, 17-18 November 1875, lot 80
Vincent (Cent) van Gogh, Princenhage (1820-88; painter Vincent van Gogh had ten aunts and uncles on his father's side, but it was arguably his Uncle Vincent (Uncle 'Cent') who had the most influence on Vincent's life. By the time Vincent was five years old his Uncle Cent had become a highly respected art dealer. Uncle Cent was a partner in the successful art firm of Goupil & Co. and he ran Goupil's branch in The Hague with great skill. Uncle Cent lived with his wife, Cornelia (née Carbentus), in the Brabant village of Prinsenhage where he frequently visited Vincent's parents. The couple was childless and, as a result, Uncle Cent took an interest in young Vincent as he was growing up. Uncle Cent may have considered Vincent a potential successor to his position at Goupil's.)
Cornelia van Gogh, née Carbentus, Princenhage (1829-1913; widow of the above, known to painter Vincent van Gogh as 'Aunt Cornelie'; sale: C.M. van Gogh and H. G. Tersteeg, The Hague, 2-3 April 1889, lot 83)
Sale: Frederik Müller, Amsterdam, 15 November 1913, lot 45
Purchased by the great-grandfather of the present owner circa 1913-20; thence by descent

Literature

Friedrich Gorissen, Werkverzeichnis B.C. Koekkoek, 1962, no. 33/131, catalogued & illustrated (titled Sortie du bois; lithography of the work also illustrated)

Catalogue Note

A Wooded Path was painted in 1833, at about the time Koekkoek had settled in the German ducal city of Cleves. The impressive Rhine landscape and age-old forests of the surrounding countryside, which had attracted Dutch artists since the seventeenth century, matched Koekkoek's own romantic, poetic ideal. In his book Herinneringen en Mededeelingen van eenen Landschapschilder (Thoughts and Recollections of a Landscapist), published in 1841, Koekkoek hinted at the underlying reasons for his move. 'To be sure' he writes, 'our fatherland boasts no rocks, waterfalls, high mountains or romantic valleys. Proud, sublime nature is not to be found in our land'.

In Cleves, where he would spend the rest of his life, Koekkoek painted his most important landscapes, ranging from extensive vistas to more focused compositions framed by one or more oaks. It was thus that he initiated a style of landscape painting that is now generally referred to as 'Cleves Romanticism', and which is characterised by a fusion of realism (or sincere study of nature) and a tendency to idealise the landscape. Like other Romantic painters including his German contemporary Caspar David Friedrich, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek painted the motif of tiny figures within imposing, majestic natural environments to contrast humble humanity with the greatness of creation. However, true to his aesthetic, the symbolism in A Wooded Path is subsidiary to the celebration and portrayal of a pastoral idyll.

The present work has the distinguished provenance of having belonged to Vincent (Cent) van Gogh, painter Vincent van Gogh's uncle, a long serving director at Goupil. There was a very lucrative market in art reproductions, and Cent persuaded Goupil to start publishing large engravings after paintings, which proved extremely popular. A lithograph of the present work was commissioned from Henri Lefort, Paris, as early as 1875.

19th Century European Paintings

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London