Meindert Hobbema - Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Path - image-1

Lot 1054 Dα

Meindert Hobbema - Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Path

Auction 1245 - overview Cologne
16.05.2024, 11:01 - Old Masters and 19th Century, Part I
Estimate: 150.000 € - 200.000 €
Result: 170.100 € (incl. premium)

Meindert Hobbema

Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Path

Oil on panel (parquetted). 54.2 x 71 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: MH F/1659.

Little is known about the Amsterdam painter's early creative period. This makes the present river landscape, dated 1659, all the more important as a milestone on Hobbema's path to becoming the most important Dutch landscape painter of the 17th century, alongside Jacob van Ruisdael. The impressive depiction of a Dutch dune landscape, monumental in its composition, was painted shortly before Jacob van Ruisdael testified in 1660 that Hobbema had "served and learnt with him for several years". Interestingly, Ruisdael's influence on Hobbema's work only became more apparent around 1662, and only for a short time, as Wolfgang Stechow has already noted (Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1968, p. 60). From 1657 to 1661, Hobbema painted in the tradition of earlier masters such as Salomon van Ruysdael and Cornelis Vroom. The feathery foliage of the trees in a river landscape from 1658 (Detroit Institute of Art), for example, is still strongly reminiscent of works by Cornelis Vroom.
The influence of Jacob van Ruisdael is noticeable in the present work. This can be seen in the composition of the picture, which is characterised by a diagonal path running between majestic trees and a grove; also in pictorial elements such as the pond and its vegetation in the foreground, the lighting, which artfully distributes shimmers of sunlight and accentuates the silhouettes of the tree trunks. This painting can be compared, for example, with Ruisdael's "Edge of a Forest with a Grainfield" from 1655 in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.
In the painting "Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Path", Hobbema presents himself as an independent artist whose style differs from that of his teacher. Hobbema's view of nature is brighter, more colourful and livelier. His compositions are more expansive and gain greater freedom, his style is more fluid. Unlike Ruisdael's melancholic and sometimes dramatic compositions, Hobbema's works show a gentler aspect of the Dutch landscape. In the present painting, the flowing light conveys the peace and tranquillity of a sunny afternoon in a Dutch landscape and opens up the row of trees to the view of a meadow and the sun-drenched dunes beyond. The wandering figures on the country road are also typical of Hobbema's work. Some bold red accents in the figures' clothing create a striking effect.
In 1668, the 30-year-old Hobbema took on the position of official wine measurer for the city of Amsterdam and oversaw deliveries to and within the city. This position provided him with a regular and ample income, something that many painters of the Golden Age lacked. Painting was no longer at the centre of his activities. Nevertheless, he created further masterpieces in the following years. Hobbema's paintings are rare on the market. Most of his works can be found in private collections. Almost every major museum has a Hobbema on display, from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the National Gallery in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris to the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

Provenance

The Monden Collection, Wiesbaden, until 1923. - Sale Muller, Amsterdam, 10 July 1923, lot 118. - With Goudstikker, Amsterdam, 1926 (cat. 30, no 71). - A. C. Mees, Amsterdam, 1926-1947. - B.. Hoos, Wassenaar, 1947 -1956. - Private collection Europe. - With Hoogsteder and Hoogsteder, The Hague, circa 1985, from whom acquired by a Dutch private collector.

Literature

G. Broulhiet: Meindert Hobbema, Paris 1938, p. 427, cat. no. 368, ill., p. 286. - K. E. Simon: Review of Broulhiet, in: Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 9, 1940, p. 207.

Exhibitions

The Hague, Pulchri Studio, Collection Goudstikker, 13 March - 4 April 1926 (cat. 30, no 71). - Rotterdam, Boijmans-van-Beuningen Museum, Christmas Exhibition, presumably in 1943.