George Hendrik Breitner
"The Brouwersgracht near the Korte Prinsengracht, Amsterdam"
GEORGE HENDRIK BREITNER
Rotterdam 1857-1923 Amsterdam
VIEW OF THE BROUWERSGRACHT, AMSTERDAM, ca. 1900
Oil on canvas
85 x 101 cm.
Signed: lower left ‘G.H. Breitner’
Provenance:Private collection, The Netherlands; Kunsthandel Kupperman, Amsterdam; vlg. Sotheby’s Amsterdam 24-4-2007, lotno. 254; Amsterdams Historisch Museum, on loan, inv.no. SB 6324.
The Brouwersgracht, Korte Prinsengracht and Haarlemmerstraat, all within a circle of not more than 100 metres, were like an open air studio to Breitner. He painted many views of the busy bridges and canals, populated by horse-drawn carts, pedestrians and workmen. In the work of Breitner, who very much sided with the ordinary working class, the human figure played an essential role. He painted the figures at close range, making the beholder feel part of the scene, as if we are standing in the street, amidst the passers-by. Paintings like the present lot show a different aspect of Amsterdam and focus on the calm serenity and timeless beauty of the canals with their gabled houses, seen from a bird's eye view. In this loosely painted view the human figure plays no role. Breitner executed the present lot around 1900. A larger version of the same subject, depicted in winter time, is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (on loan to the Historisch Museum in Amsterdam).