Jan van Goyen, 'View on the Pellecussenpoort'

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Signed and dated 1643 on the boat
64 cm
73 cm

Never published before, included in the RKD archive Beck with number 655A
Also refer to H.U. Beck, Jan van Goyen II, Amsterdam, 1973.


Marschall Spink Gallery London 1972
Exhibition Alan Jacobs gallery London 1977 (according to a note by Beck, not included in the catalogue)
Gallery … July 1977 (Beck archive indistinct)
London, Sotheby’s, 20-7-1984 lot 10 as Follower Jan van Goyen
Art dealer P. De Boer, March 1995

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This painting, by Jan van Goyen, shows a view of the Pellecussenpoorten in Utrecht. Van Goyen places the characteristic gate and city wall in an imaginary river landscape under a cloudy sky. A number of small boats with cargo and three people are moored on the bank; on the left-hand side of the painting, a boat with passengers is approaching. Two people talking are walking towards the gate and a third person is walking in the opposite direction. The whole is painted in a tonal shade of brown, with realistic details. The Pellecussenpoort served as an entrance gate on the Vecht, located on the north side of Utrecht in the direction of Oud Zuilen. Van Goyen painted the Pellecussenpoort at least twelve times between 1640 and 1655.

The painting was originally larger: on the left it has been sawn through. Fortunately we know what the painting looked like before this intervention; a print by Carel Frederik Bendorp (collection Rijksmuseum inv. no. RP-P-BI-854) shows the entire painting in mirror image. Jan van Goyen (1596 - 1656) was born in Leiden and educated as a painter there. In 1632 he moved to The Hague. He was a brilliant painter of river views and landscapes, with an eye for detail and a monochromatic and tonal style. Together with Pieter Molijn and Salomon van Ruysdael, he initiated the flowering of Dutch landscape painting. Van Goyen was an exceptionally productive painter; about 1200 paintings and 800 drawings are known to have been made by him. He travelled through the Low Countries, France and Germany to find inspiration for his works, and also repeated certain themes. He was one of the most prolific Dutch painters of the 17th century. In life, Van Goyen was already successful and respected. Unfortunately, his business adventures - including speculation in tulip bulbs, the art trade, auction sales and real estate - led to his death in 1656 with considerable debts. 


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