Pieter Cornelis Dommersen - A Day on St. Gertrude's Place (1880)
Pieter Cornelis Dommersen (1833 - efter 1913) (Also called Pieter Cornelis Dommershuijzen)
Utrecht, A Day on St. Gertrude's Place (1880)
oil on wood panel signed and dated 1880 panel dimensions 19.88 x 15.75 inches (50.5 x 40 cm) frame 26.38 x 22.05 inches (67 x 56 cm)
Essay: Pieter Cornelis Dommersen, also known as Pieter Cornelis Dommershuijzen (1833 - after 1913) was renowned for his 'capriccio' paintings, where imagination melds with reality, Dommersen created scenes steeped in both authenticity and artistic liberty.
Executed in 1880 during his period of activity in Brussels, "Utrecht: A Day on St. Gertrude's Place" is a prime example of Dommersen's distinct style. Drawing inspiration from Utrecht, this lively streetscape captures the daily vibrancy of life in the Netherlands.
As the viewer's eyes meander through the artwork, they are met with beautifully detailed Dutch buildings made of brick, standing tall and reflecting the warmth of sunlight. The nuances of the scene unfurl – a woman gracefully balances water buckets, while a craftsman sits engrossed, weaving baskets from straw. By a doorway, townsfolk engage in earnest conversation, their chatter almost audible to the beholder.
A stone water pump stands prominently in a nearby square, drawing a crowd eager to replenish their water supplies. Meanwhile, a horse-pulled cart laden with hay makes its departure, its wheels echoing on the cobbled streets. And above, the majestic silhouette of a church looms, its steeple a gathering point for birds, while the sky above paints a picture of a pleasant day with patches of blue peeking through soft clouds.
The fine details, like the shadow of smoke emanating from a chimney on the wall to the right, bring a tangible realism to this imagined setting. Dommersen's genius lies in his ability to infuse his artworks with a spirit of place and time, making them feel both immediate and eternal.
Provenance: A Swedish private collection
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