Jan van Goyen
Leiden 1596 - The Hague 1656
Summer Landscape with a Bridge and Figures; Winter Landscape with Skaters.
A Pair, both Oil on Panel, circular, diameter: 11 cm
The former, signed lower left: i v goien
The latter, signed and dated centre left: i v goien, 1627
His deceased sale, Hamburg, Packischefsky Noodt, 17 August 1812, lots 50 and 51;
Possibly anonymous sale, Hamburg, De Vries, 5 August 1816;
Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, De Vries, Brondgeest, Engelberts & Roos, 17 December 1832, lot 30;
Sir William Drake, F.S.A., Prince's Gardens, London, and Oatlands Lodge, Weybridge;
His sale, London, Christie's, 27 June 1891, lot 108;
Friedrich Schwartz, Vienna, 18 January 1895;
Paul Bernard Limburger von Hoffman, Leipzig;
Thence by to descent to Wallis Grieve;
By whom sold, London, Christie's, 24 October 1958, lot 132, for £1000 to Koetser;
With Leonard Koetser Gallery, London, 1959, nos 6a and 6b, reproduced;
Anonymous sale ('Property from a Private Collection'), London, Sotheby's, 10 July 2003, lot 16;
With Dr A. Wieg Fine Art, Amsterdam;
Mr and Mrs Barge-Dreesmann, Brasschaat;
Thence by descent to the present owners.
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596–1656, vol. II, Amsterdam 1973, pp. 9–10 no. 16 (the latter), p.67 no. 132 (the former), the former reproduced;
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596–1656, Supplement, vol. III, Amsterdam 1987, p. 140, no. 16, the latter reproduced.
London, Leonard Koetser Gallery, Exhibition of Flemish, Dutch and Italian Old Masters, Spring Exhibition, 1959, nos 6a and 6b, reproduced.
The present pair of landscapes, a summer and a winter landscape, are typical of Jan van Goyen’s early style when he was still under the influence of Esaias van de Velde’s realistic but colourful landscapes. The use of circular panels for landscape painting originated in Flanders. It was first introduced in the North by Hendrick Avercamp and subsequently adapted by Esaias van de Velde for the painting of more realistic seasonal landscape painting. From 1621 onwards Jan van Goyen too, painted small circular seasonal pairs. Circular panels from the artists early years typically have a low horizon level and a spatial organization where architectural features, trees and figures are used as compositional devices.
In the present summer tondo, the bridge is firmly placed in the middle of the composition. It serves as a clear divide between the ‘far distance’ and the ‘foreground’ of the landscape. In the winter landscape the farmhouse on the left hand, marks the middle-ground. Everything behind the farm is ‘the far distance’, while the figures skating towards the viewer are clearly part of the ‘foreground’ of the composition.
Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden in1596. His father was a lover of the arts of drawing and painting. From a young age Jan van Goyen was apprenticed to quite a range of artists before travelling to France for a year at the age of 19. A few years after his return in 1617/18 van Goyen was apprenticed to the renowned landscape painter Esaias van de Velde in Haarlem. While the apprenticeship lasted only about a year, the time spent there was to have a profound influence on the course of Jan van Goyen’s work. In the studio of Esaias van de Velde he was introduced to much more realistic painted landscapes. A style of painting that Jan van Goyen very quickly embraced. Like van de Velde Jan began to sketch and draw outdoors trying to capture his surroundings as accurately as possible.