Jan van Goyen
A river landscape with figures in rowing boats, a woman washing clothes, and a village in the distance with a building on fire, 1655
(Probably) Anon. sale; Christie’s, London, 18 April 1832 (this lot was added in by hand in Christie’s own archive copy of the catalogue).
(Probably) Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Bt. (1788 – 1850), according to George Salting’s ms. catalogue which lists the provenance as ‘Peel Cn’; and by descent to his daughter
Julia (1821 – 1893), who married firstly George Child Villiers, 6th Earl of Jersey (1808 – 1859) and secondly Charles Brandling (1832 – 1894);
His sale; London, Oct. 1894, lot 235 (according to an inscription, verso).
P.&D. Colnaghi & Co., London, by Oct. 1894, (possibly) acquired at the above sale.
George Salting (1835 – 1909), acquired in 1895; and by descent until 1975.
Private Collection, U.K.
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen, Amsterdam, 1973, vol. II, p. 205, no. 424c.
London, British Institution, 1854, no. 69.
London, Agnew’s, Collection of pictures and drawings of the late Mr. George Salting, 1910, no. 140.
Jan van Goyen was among the greatest and most prolific of the 17th Century Dutch landscapists. His earliest works, those executed prior to 1626, closely resemble those of his teacher Esaias van de Velde, but, from the 1630s onward, Van Goyen and his Haarlem contemporaries Salomon van Ruysdael, Pieter Molijn and Jan Porcellis developed a new tonal manner. By the 1640s and 1650s, Van Goyen was at the height of his career. He had received notable recognition and financial stability, despite losing much of his fortune in 1637, supposedly through a failed venture in the tulip market. He was nevertheless able to buy a house on the Singelgracht in The Hague in 1939, a year after he was appointed head of the Guild of St. Luke in that city. Van Goyen also supplemented his income with work as an art dealer and auctioneer. The fact that Van Goyen signed and dated so many of his works has enabled scholars to establish a solid chronology of his life and career.
A river landscape with figures in rowing boats, a woman washing clothes, and a village in the distance with a building on fire boasts an impressive historical provenance, having passed through the collections of Sir Robert Peel, who served twice as Prime Minister, and George Salting, a major art collector and benefactor of the National Gallery, British Museum, and Victoria & Albert Museum.