(Haarlem 1566 – 1640)
Beach scene with view of Scheveningen
Oil on panel, 36.6 x 62.4 cm
Signed and dated on driftwood lower right: Vroom 1623
Provenance: Netherlands, J. van Duijvendijk, Scheveningen, 1963
Formerly Rob Kattenburg Collection
Literature: L J. Bol, Die Hollandische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhundert, Brunswijk, 1973, p. 13, note 27; M. Russell, Visions of the Sea; Hendrick C. Vroom and the Origins of Dutch Marine Painting, Leiden, 1983, p. 155, fig. 138a; J. Giltaij en J. Kelch, Lof der Zeevaart, De Hollandse zeeschilders van de 17de eeuw, Rotterdam, 1996, pp. 90-1, no. 5, ïllustrated.
Hendrick Vroom is considered the Nestor of Dutch marine painters. He was the first artist to specialize in realistic depictions of ships and beach scenes that are of great documentary value. His paintings are furnished with numerous figures and staffage: sailors, soldiers, fishermen, richly dressed citizens and children. Not surprisingly, his work was in high demand even in his time, despite the fact that the celebrated artist charged hefty prices for his paintings. Anecdotally, the story goes that he asked such a high price for a historical painting that the thrifty patrons refused to continue working with him and awarded the work to his equally famous colleague Cornelis Claesz. van Wieringen.
In our beach view, we see returning fisher pinks with their catch; men carry the fish in baskets to the beach, where some richly dressed citizens await the merchandise. A shrimp fisherman can be seen on the right of the picture. The large ship in the background is probably an armed warship that served as a guard for the fishing fleet.
The painting, painted with great precision, is a good example of Vroom’s mastery and gives us a glimpse of beach life 400 years ago.Discover more about Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom his Biography.
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