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About This Artwork
Fishing Boats off an Estuary, 1633
Oil on panel
36 x 57.8 cm (14 1/8 x 22 3/4 in.)
Inscribed, lower left on boat: VG 1653
Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1078
With its low horizon line, monochrome palette, and direct paint handling, this intimate panel is characteristic of the river landscapes of Jan van Goyen’s early maturity. He used the white ground to impart a luminous tonality to his rapidly brushed paintings. In a society that provided a broad market for art, Van Goyen was an active dealer, auctioneer, and appraiser, as well as a prolific maker of art.
— Permanent collection label
Paul Mantz, “La Galerie de M. Rothan,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 2nd ser., 7 (1873), pp. 286, ill.
Emil Jacobsen, “Paris. Salle Georges Petit. Versteigerung der Collection Rothan,” Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 14 (1891), p. 250, no. 45.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1932), p. 180, no. 346.11.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1925), p. 159, no. 2041.
G. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, vol. 8 (London, 1927), p. 271, no. 1079.
Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1961), p. 202.
Hans-Ulrich Beck, Jan van Goyen, 1596–1656, vol. 2 (Amsterdam, 1973), p. 380, no. 489.
John D. Morse, Old Master Paintings in North America (New York, 1979), p. 150.
Larry J. Feinberg, “A Brief History of the Old Masters in the Art Institute of Chicago,” Museum Studies 32, 3 (2006), p. 89 n. 3.
Simon Stinstra (died 1782), Haarlem; his sale Van der Schley, etc., Amsterdam, March 26, 1783, lot 50 for 32 guilders to Bouwer [price and buyer according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Frick Art Reference Library, New York]. Etienne Arago [according to the catalogue of the Rothan sale, cited below]; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 8, 1872, lot 32 as Marine for 3,250 francs to Gustave Rothan [price according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague; buyer according to Beck 1973]; Gustave Rothan (died 1890), Paris, by 1873 [according to Paul Mantz 1873]; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, May 29–31, 1890, lot 45 as Le Calme plat for 10,000 francs to Durand-Ruel, Paris [price according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague; buyer according to a letter from Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy to Charles Stuckey dated December 13, 1994, copy in curatorial file]; Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1890 [according to the letter cited above, the painting was Durand-Ruel, Paris stock no. 423]; sold to Martin A. Ryerson (died 1932), Chicago for 10,500 francs, 1890 [according to the letter cited above]; on loan to the Art Institute by 1925; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.