Rotterdam ca. 1620 – Rotterdam (?) after 1689/before 1698
Sailing Vessels and a Ferry on the calm Oude Maas River as seen from the North, with a View of Dordrecht and the Grote Kerk beyond
Signed and dated ‘H.D. M … 16 . 9’ | Lower middle on the side of ferry
Oil on panel
H. 74 cm. W. 104 cm.
European noble collection | With collectors seal verso;
Private collection Mr. Gustave Rothan (1822 – 1890) | Paris;
His sale at Paul Chevallier ‘Tableaux anciens des écoles flamande, hollandaise, française, espagnole, italienne et allemande formant l’important collection de M.G. Rothan’ | Galerie Georges Petit | Paris | 29 May 1890 | Lot 25 (as by Aelbert Cuyp);
Private collection | Switzerland
Beck, H.U. (1972/1991). Jan van Goyen 1596-1656. Ein Oeuvreverzeichnis. Amsterdam: Van Gendt, Vol. VI, pp. 268-271;
Beer, Gerlinde de (2019). The Golden Age of Dutch Marine Painting. The Inder Rieden Collection. Leiden: Primavera Pers, pp. 648-654;
Bernt, W. (1970). The Netherlandish Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Vol. II, New York: Phaidon, p. 78;
Bol, L.J. (1973). Die Holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, pp. 269-270;
Schadee, N. (1994). Rotterdamse meesters uit de Gouden Eeuw. Zwolle: Waanders, p. 288
This impressive river-scape depicts the ‘Oude Maas’ (Old Meus) River as seen from the North. Passengers made their crossing on a ferry, loaded with a carriage, peasant, horsemen and a peddler. On the left, two sailing boats enter the harbour of Dordrecht, which the city and the characteristic tower of the ‘Grote Kerk’, or the Church of Our Lady, dominating the skyline and occupying the middle of the composition. The characteristic gothic tower, begun in 1339, got its present from in 1626, when it was capped with four Baroque clock faces. In the background, various vessels and sailboats are scattered on the surface of the river, which flows to the right, as far as the eye can see. The ferry in the foreground may have departed from the ‘Zwijndrechtse Veer’, located to the right of the scene. The depicted scene with the calm river oozes a sphere of tranquillity. The rather poetic description of the present picture by the Parisian Galerie Georges Petit in 1890 reads: ‘Impression d’une journée d’été. Des vapeurs montent dans l’atmosphère. Le ciel et les eaux sont comme voiles sous une brume d’or.’ (‘Impression of a summer’s day. Vapours rise into the atmosphere. The sky and the waters are as if veiled under a golden mist.).
The present work in comparable to Rivier view with ships, the town of Dordrecht beyond, oil on panel, H. 58.5 cm. W. 83 cm., singed and dated ‘1648’, formerly in the collection of Baron Glentanar and since 1995 part of the Inder Rieden Collection, London (inv./cat.nr 15; RKD nr. 275356: Beck, 1972/1992,Vol. 4, p. 269, no. 746, with ill.; Beer, 2019, p. 649, nr. 40, with ill.). As such, the present work was arguably painted in the year 1649. A second work Ships and boats on the Meuse with a view of Dordrecht with the Grote Kerk in the distance, oil on panel, is kept in the collection of The National Museum in Warsaw.
Little is know of the life of the Dutch Golden Age landscape painter Hendrick de Meijer (also known as Hendri(c)k de Meyer). He was born in Rotterdam ca. 1620. It is not known where he received this training. He was active from ca. 1640, as dated works are known from 1640 (possibly also from 1638 and 1639). He is mentioned in Rotterdam archives from 1646 onwards until 1689. He painted beach scenes, cityscape parades, equestrian battles, historical events and winter landscapes. His most famous work hangs in the Rijksmuseum depicting The Departure of Charles II of England from Scheveningen on 2 July 2 1660. He died moste likerly in Rotterdam after 1689, the year he dated his last known work, and before 1698, when he was mentioned as deceased.
Works from his hand are kept in the collection of the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Statens Muzeum for Kunst, Kopenhagen, the collection of the Royal Palace Het Loo, Apeldoorn, the Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, Poznań, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the The National Museum in Warsaw.