Auction House

Auction: Old Master Paintings

20. June 2023, 2:00 pm

Object overview


„Landing stage by the river“
late 1620s
oil on panel; framed
23.5 x 37.5 cm
Possibly traces of the panelmaker's mark on the reverse as well as the castle and the hands of the city of Antwerp (according to the certificate by Dr. Ertz)


private property, Austria

Certificate by Dr. Klaus Ertz, Lingen, 8 May 2019, is enclosed.

Estimate: € 80.000 - 150.000
Result: € 89.600 (incl. fees)
Auction is closed.

The small wooden panel impresses with its high-quality execution and mastery of all the subtleties of Jan Brueghel the Younger's painting technique. The leaves of the trees are meticulously designed: their elaborate execution with nuanced white heightening requires great experience and skill on the part of the master. The same applies to the in part realistic and in part freely rendered landscape impressions in the typical blue-yellow-white play of colours of the water and the sky, the yellow-brown-green colour scheme of the landing stage on the left, as well as the characteristic sun, falling in from the left and obscured by clouds.
Not only in painting but also compositionally, the landscape represents a skilfully mastered challenge for the artist. The narrative tension of the composition is the bustling activity in the foreground of the picture. Boats loaded with passengers, livestock and goods cross the water or anchor on the shore. Numerous travellers, farmers and merchants are skilfully manoeuvred to the mooring with their belongings. Picturesque buildings line the way, in the distance a hazy veil surrounds the landscape and enhances the paintings' atmosphere. The figures are captivating not only because of the modelling, but also because of the skilful staging of everyday life at that time, which instantly draws the viewer into the painting and gives one the impression of being able to experience lively ongoings in an idyllic setting.
Dr Ertz dates the painting to Jan's Antwerp period of the 1620s. "As is usual for the early creative period, the son developed his own ideas from the compositional repertoire found by his father and created independent, surprisingly new compositional ideas" (cf. certificate). Although central elements are reminiscent of Jan Brueghel the Elder's "River Landscape with Landing stage on the Left", the composition appears freer and broader (cf. Klaus Ertz/Christa Nitze-Ertz, Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625). Critical Catalogue of Paintings, vol. I, Lingen 2008, p. 273, no. 121).