A Fine Canal Landscape of the Lower Rhine
with the Angler under the Bridge
and the Rising Moon
as Reverence to van Goyen’s Oil Beck 110
Verrijk, Dirk (Theodor, 1734-86, active i. a. in Mecheln + The Hague). Canal Running through a Village. In front at a bridge behind which the full moon rises and through which the steeple is visible an angler in his boat, observed by onlookers on the bridge. Other passers-by on the left going home. On the right windmill, in the air two owls, but still other birds in greater distance, too. Brush-drawing in grey and black with white heightening over traces of black chalk. Inscribed with black ink on the bridge partition: verryk : del. ad. viv: 7¾ × 11⅜ in (196 × 288 mm).
Wurzbach II, 780 and, as supposedly identical with Thomas V., II, 167 + III, 172; Nagler XX, 98; Thieme-Becker XXXIV, 298. – Cf. illustrations Beck, van Goyen III, Paintings 110 as well as I, Drawings, 847/124 + 123.
Typical , fully executed work
van Goyen’s 1627 small round painting (∅ 13.5 cm) Beck 110
to which latter not least for the strange roundings below the actual spires of the steeples Beck I, 847/124 (ills.) of the 1650/51 sketchbook of the travel down the Rhine from Cleve/Arnhem should be kept in mind for local reference. While with van Goyen a moonlight landscape bathed in the bright light of an invisible high-standing source, so with Verrijk the full moon just rises over the bridge. The banks are in reverse to each other, markedly taking over van Goyen’s part of the steep path on the right, but not the superstructure of the church above it. Verrijk’s reverse right part dominated by a mill right of a group of houses. Set far back left of this and only visible in the view through the arch of the bridge a steeple. This right-sided composition in great harmony with sheet 123 of the sketchbook (Beck 847/123 with ills.) of the same direction, on which the bridge forms the just sketchy left termination of the picture. Deviating from each other in the view angle Verrijk may have seen the same place. Otherwise the angler of both turns his back to the steep path. While with van Goyen his boat lies crossways in the water, anchored at the stern by a pole or row, so with Verrijk along the bank and without the latter. The bridge for its part different with Verrijk, slightly curved with assumed suspension construction. The onlookers on this – there just one, here two – in again reverse equal position. Goyen’s couple in the foreground below the path turned to the beholder with Verrijk set back on the path itself and walking into the picture. Not taken over the second manned boat lying in the view through the bridge at the bank there.
All these marks of comparison are opposed to Verrijk’s explicit “ad vivum”, however. Not only for the figuration communicating with each other, but also for the reverseness of the banks in the foreground – with the same visual angle here! – there is distinct reason to believe that he knew van Goyen’s painting itself or a further drawing not present here. The explanation may take the middle course though. Verrijk knew both van Goyen’s taking but also its locality itself. For according to A. G. Schulte’s publications (1981 and 1993 resp.) Verrijk travelled beside northern France, North & South Holland also expressly the province of Utrecht and was by this
in van Goyen’s tracks on the Lower Rhine .
On toned strong laid paper. – Especially known for their canal landscapes, too, while widely obscure in their circumstances the work groups Dirk/Theodor on the one side and Thomas on the other side correspond with each other and therefore are suggestive of an identity of both. In which Wurzbach may have missed that he states Amsterdam as Thomas’ sphere of activity, but Mecheln for Theodor. Inscriptions both with D. and T. for the abbreviated forename. The one here with just the surname, otherwise identical with the one of the brush drawing of the Leiden Gate in Amsterdam of the sale Müller & Cie. in 1904 quoted by Wurzbach III, 172 under Thomas.
Nagler (1850) draws the attention to the “fine brush drawings” of which 16 were located in the de Grez Collection (since 1913 in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts Brussels) while 5 sheets of the Hermitage, purchased in Brussels 1768/70 by Catherine II from the collection of drawings of count Johann Karl Philipp Cobenzl (1712-1770, Marie Theresa’s plenipotentiary in the Austrian Netherlands, Lugt II, 2858b), figured for making foreign exchange in the memorable Leipsic auction “Old Master Drawings … from the Stock of the Hermitage in Leningrad …” (Boerner CLXXI, 251). Not least charming with present work the partial extra heightening in black. – Verso five traces of former mounting, otherwise impeccable.
Offer no. 15,039 / sold
“ Thanks for shipping the print. It has arrived here in excellent shape. Happy holidays ”
(Mr. H. A. P., December 12, 2001)