Cornelis van Noorde, Ice Amusement

… and the Ice Amusement petering out in the depth

Noorde, Cornelis van (1731 Haarlem 1795). Ice Amusement. Frozen stretch of water lined with buildings on both sides with subtly designed parish with domineering slender high steeple front left, while front right on an embattled high jetty – conceivable as separation of two tributaries conjoining here – an inn sets the tone, from whose wide-open stable gate a horse looks out, while on the other end a two-mast boat has moored, just as further high-masted boats on the left bank, too. However, the row of houses leading towards the depth just delicately indicated. On the ice besides appreciative manifold fun occupation with, i. a., one-horse sled with gentleman and two ladies whose little dog attempts to encourage the horse to the same leaps. The masses, however, are drawn, tapering off, in single file to the refreshment tent raised in the deep center. Watercolored pen-and-ink drawing. Inscribed below left: CVN . 6 × 9½ in (154 × 241 mm).

Sliggers, Het schetsboek van Cornelis van Noorde. Het leven van een veelzijdig Haarlems kunstenaar. (1982); Beck, Jan van Goyen IV (1991), page 461.

Nagler, Monogrammisten, II, 793 & Künstler-Lexicon X, 263 f.; Wurzbach, Ndl. Künstler-Lexikon II, 240 with likewise reproductions of monograms; Thieme-Becker XXV, 509 f.; Weigel, Art Stock Catalog 20748, Das Zeichnungswerk des Corn. van Noorde (1856).

Carefully executed sheet-filling work

with still fine(st) margin around the edge line and the complete round watermark below crown Heawood 3149 (Engl. [Bucks?], c. 4¾-4⅞ × 3¾ in [12-12.5 × 9.5 cm]).


with the lion standing on the VRYHEYT pedestal ,

spanning with the left the pole with the GESSLER HAT

while the right holds a bundle of rods (Italian fascis as stem for fascism) ,

documented by Heawood as above along with deviating 3148 & 3150 for ENGLAND 1745-1771 and here known, too, for fly-leaf paper of an English incunabula binding of the 18th cent. from the Bibliotheca Ratcliffiana sold at auction 1776, now Glasgow University.

Of practically unimpaired preservation. A dark discoloration in the right upper corner of the image (¾ × 1½ in [2 × 3.7 cm]) only scarcely perceptible as not belonging to showing through from the back and besides interrupted by the inn’s chimney with besides pinhead-small thin spot. A small paper fineness at the gable of the house at the left edge of the image.

Generously composed winter day of rich atmosphere

of bright, although certainly interspersed with flurries of snow, weather in the style of Jan van Goyen (Leiden 1586 – The Hague 1656), of whose drinking tents (Beck, Paintings, 55, 71 f., 77 f. et al.) as indispensable ice attraction then present one reminds of at first sight.

Cornelis van Noorde, Ice Amusement (detail)

“ Cornelis van Noorde … is the most important imitating copycat of the late drawing style of Jan van Goyen … a style which supposedly was much in his nature … Van Noorde indeed has designed drawings and watercolors

in quite own style

and inscribed with his monogram CVN: upon these drawings – and such one this is indeed – shall not expanded here. But for creations in van Goyen’s manner of drawing he has – as here by no means – used a ligated monogram from CVN which has to be interpreted correctly; on a glimpse it looks similar to van Goyen’s monogram … Copies after van Goyen have not become known yet … ”

(Beck, as above; italics/bold type not in the original). Correspondingly already Sliggers, s. a., and summarizing:

“ (For one artist Van Noorde distinctly had a weakness: Jan van Goyen

whose style of drawing he knew to imitate masterly

… literal copies are … not known, however a number of drawings in black chalk in the style of Van Goyen, often washed brown or grey, also substantially 17th century.) ”

Drawings from his hand in the manner of van Goyen i. a. in Berlin, Print Room, inv. no. 2759; Bremen, Art Gallery, inv. no. 60/2; The Hague, RKD, Dpt. Landscape Drawings.

His topographical works generally taken on the spot, the sketches of which, if necessary, were executed painterly in the study. Unless not created on his only tour as 25-year-old from Groningen up to Wesel – see as the only preserved the schetboek at the Gemeente-archief Haarlem above where also the greater part of his œuvre of drawings is preserved – Haarlem and environs are the source, just as the latter supposedly for present drawing, too, the format of which by the way corresponds with that of the sketchbook.

“ (The particular charm of his works rests upon their environment and scenery. He populates the town with lively conversing people, mounted riders, running dogs, and driving coaches … To bring large sheets of water to life he performs magic, to have skaters in a winter landscape pass us, sledges are pushed along … In the high parts of the sky one usually detects – as here, too – a V-shaped flight of birds) ”

(Sliggers, op. cit., page 69). – Here then one of those of old generally

especially coveted , yet rarer , wide Netherlandish “Ijsgezigte” ,

dearly paid either painting or drawing. So as the latter for instance Noorde’s with 8¼ × 13⅜ in (211 × 340) mm) indeed larger, yet with its plenty of figures in the foreground rather loud Frozen Canal already in 1979 (Amsterdam, Sotheby van Waay, 301a, 202) with a knockdown of indeed 6200 Dutch guilders at nonetheless still considerably higher expectation (8920-13380 H.). The small dog here by the way jumping ahead of a man heavily drawing firewood there. Elsewhere again we encounter it greeting a homecoming cart load hay. Noteworthy as such are characteristics frequently used by the old Netherlanders.

However, his both in winter and in summer again and again often just shadowy treatment of parts set in the back as even lateral parts in the foreground a fortunate atmospheric characteristic, representing the assessment in literature:

“… made himself known not so much by paintings, but by fine drawings” (Nagler 1860), “… excellent in the imitation of older drawings by the engraving” (von Wurzbach 1909), “(Finely drawn with colors)” (Clara Welcker, see below, 1933), “… has worked a number of excellent imitations of drawings” (L’Art Ançien in about the 1930s on occasion of one of numerous copied artist portraits [catalog 36, Dutch Drawings 16th-19th Cent., lot 24 with Stinnes provenance]). And 1931 Thieme-Becker reminded of the “bright, delicate tone” of his etchings.

Yet the very real motive for Noorde’s imitations was that he devoted “most of his time to the classes, and for this purpose … (worked) several designs which gradually formed a work of drawing imitations, the parts of which we not (yet) knew exactly during the compilation … in the Künstler-Lexicon … (for lack of knowledge of above Weigel item 20748) … Several imitations follow the known work of Ploos van Amstel” (Nagler, Monogrammisten, see above).

The classes concerned Noorde’s activity as co-founder and member of the board of the Haarlemse Tekenacademie (1772-1792), created – as correspondingly already in 1718 in Amsterdam – in reaction to the loss of quality in the course of a junior training adopted from the wallpaper industry. Sliggers sees in this engagement also the reason for his but one study tour (1756) and the limitation to Haarlem and its closest environs, which he had already portrayed between 1761 and 1763 together with Hendrik Spilman as designs for the 4-part set of engravings

Aangenaame Gezichten in de Vermakelijke Landsdouwen
nieuwelings naar’t Leven getekend ,
door de beroemde konstenaars H. Spilman en C. v. Noorde .

In which relation Sliggers emphasizes Noorde’s deeper interest and understanding in and of the structural conditions, any changes of which were reflected years later by further drawings. Ascertained paintings from his hand are very rare. His influence on the realistic topography of his time was minimal, even more so as towards the end of the century the romantic aspect gradually took over again.

Here and now then such a work of own gusto .

That it is close to a great earlier name is, see above, almost self-evident. Where the drinking tent is a hint on one of his further winter amusements known here, too. – As missing in the above listings of literature, at this place attention also shall be called to two drawings after Avercamp paintings listed by Clara Welcker based on auction catalogs from 1819 & 1812 (Welcker/Hensbroek-van der Poel, Hendrick Avercamp … en Barent Avercamp … “SCHILDERS TOT CAMPEN”, 1933/1976, T XXIV & T XXVII). – Liquidation of the artistic estate 1796.

Among the few animal drawings of above sketchbook incidentally one of the famous Indian rhinoceros Maid Clara known especially by Ridinger’s work of 1748 as the first depiction meeting scientific requirements, worked by Noorde 1756 – adequately on blue paper – on occasion of her presentation on the Haarlem kermess. Cf. Sliggers pages 146 f.

Offer no. 16,183 / price on application

“ this is to let you know that the book has arrived in excellent shape, and that I am delighted to have it ”

(Mr. P. M., April 30, 2003)