Hermanus Koekkoek Jr. (Jan van Couver) (1836-1909)
View of a Dutch Town
oil on canvas signed JvanCouver canvas dimensions 10.82 x 14.76 inches (27.5 x 37.5 cm) frame 16.92 x 20.86 inches (43 x 53 cm)
Provenance: Art dealer Rudolph Ackermann, London (Old label on the back); A Swedish private collection
Hermanus Koekkoek the Younger was part of the famous Koekkoek artist family: grandson of Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek, nephew of the landscape painter, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, and son of Hermanus Koekkoek the Elder. His son, Stephen Robert Koekkoek, also chose to become a painter. Together with his brothers, Willem, Johannes Hermanus Barend and Hendrik Barend, Hermanus received his first art lessons from his father, who had recently settled in Amsterdam. In the 1860s, he began regular visits to London and settled there in 1869. The pseudonyms "Jan van Couver" appeared when selling his works in London; our painting is from the London period. Here we see his talent for painting landscape views with an impressionistic touch; the brush strokes are spontaneous and confident. The composition is built with a thick layer of impasto, giving it a three-dimensional feeling. He took inspiration from the Hague School when painting the dramatic elements, for example, the clouds.
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