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Cornelis Springerartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanAmsterdam 1817-1891 Hilversum

biography of Cornelis Springer

In 1813, the Netherlands was liberated from the French oppression, after which the country needed identity and patriotic pride. The Golden Age, a period of great economic prosperity and wealth, was taken as an example; Rembrandt was elevated to Holland's most famous painter, Michiel de Ruyter became a national hero. It is therefore not surprising that painters such as Cornelis Springer, from a family of architects, caught the eye of the buildings from that heyday.

Springer was trained as a house and decoration painter and was a student of J. van der Stok, H.G. ten Cate and especially K. Karsen, whose muted copper colorite can be found in Springer's early work (ca. 1835-1845). Like the other city painters, Karsen mainly made fantasy faces, or capriccios sometimes with existing elements. From the mid-1950s Springer began to paint more and more topographically. He found his subjects in his hometown of Amsterdam, but also visited, for example, the towns around the Zuiderzee where the old buildings still showed off in large numbers. It was a huge success. Customers were on the waiting list to buy his paintings and he sometimes sold his important works for thousands of guilders. To illustrate: he sold one of Springer's most expensive works in the 1970s for four thousand guilders, while the annual income of wealthy painters such as Jacob maris and Mesdag was about six thousand in the same period.

A well-known way in which Springer worked is that he first made a large drawing on the spot, with charcoal on well-prepared paper. From these drawings the buyer could then choose a representation that would be executed in the same format in oil paint. A handy way of doing business, because the painter had sold his work before he started. He also had his administration in order. He kept cash books and documented which painting he sold to whom and for how much. He even kept track of how long he spent on his paintings and the days on which he worked on a specific part.

Cornelis Springer was an influential man in Amsterdam's art life. He was secretary, vice-chairman, chairman and even an honorary member of the Amsterdam art society Arti et Amicitiae. As an artist, he managed to establish a reputation as a highly skilled painter. And he was an artist with whom, based on his drawings, you could choose a painting in the confidence that it would not disappoint you.

'Springer's charcoal drawings are a feast for the eyes. With his own certainty, a great architectural knowledge, every line touched and Springer managed to create the illusion of space and depth with so little that the layman cannot explain the miracle.'
From: Johan Gram, 'Cornelis Springer', Elseviers Geïllustreerd Maandschrift, January-July 1899, page 203.


for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Springer C.


Springer C.  | A busy day along the river, sepia on paper, 14.0 x 20.4 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and executed ca. 1840-1845Springer C.

A busy day along the river, sepia on paper, 14.0 x 20.4 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and executed ca. 1840-1845

Springer C.  | A town view in Makkum, Friesland, oil on panel, 44.8 x 57.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1871Springer C.

A town view in Makkum, Friesland, oil on panel, 44.8 x 57.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1871

Springer C.  | An elegant company at the gate of Nederhorst castle (not for sale), oil on panel, 25.6 x 20.1 cm, signed l.l. with monogram, not for sale and dated '48Springer C.

An elegant company at the gate of Nederhorst castle (not for sale), oil on panel, 25.6 x 20.1 cm, signed l.l. with monogram, not for sale and dated '48

Springer C.  | Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 49.0 x 39.0 cm, signed l.l., l.r. and on the reverse and dated '58Springer C.

Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 49.0 x 39.0 cm, signed l.l., l.r. and on the reverse and dated '58

Springer C.  | Streetscene in Monnickendam, oil on panel, 25.1 x 19.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated '80Springer C.

Streetscene in Monnickendam, oil on panel, 25.1 x 19.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated '80

Springer C.  | The Doelenkade in Hoorn, Holland, in summer, charcoal on paper, 51.2 x 63.5 cm, signed l.l. and dated 29 nov. '74Springer C.

The Doelenkade in Hoorn, Holland, in summer, charcoal on paper, 51.2 x 63.5 cm, signed l.l. and dated 29 nov. '74

Springer C.  | View of the Nieuwstraat in Hasselt, Overijssel, charcoal on paper, 61.1 x 51.0 cm, signed l.r. and Hasselt April 1863Springer C.

View of the Nieuwstraat in Hasselt, Overijssel, charcoal on paper, 61.1 x 51.0 cm, signed l.r. and Hasselt April 1863


previously for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Springer C.


Springer C.  | A  snowy day in the Zuiderkerkstraat, Elburg, oil on panel, 19.6 x 25.2 cm, signed l.r and dated '79Springer C.

A snowy day in the Zuiderkerkstraat, Elburg, oil on panel, 19.6 x 25.2 cm, signed l.r and dated '79

Springer C.  | A Dutch church interior with 17th century figures, oil on panel, 27.8 x 25.0 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated 1849Springer C.

A Dutch church interior with 17th century figures, oil on panel, 27.8 x 25.0 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated 1849

Springer C.  | A Dutch town view in winter, charcoal on paper, 50.5 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1861Springer C.

A Dutch town view in winter, charcoal on paper, 50.5 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1861

Springer C.  | A skater on a frozen canal, oil on panel, 17.2 x 23.2 cm, signed l.o. and dated 1838Springer C.

A skater on a frozen canal, oil on panel, 17.2 x 23.2 cm, signed l.o. and dated 1838

Springer C.  | A sunlit street, Culemborg, watercolour on paper, 14.9 x 11.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '89Springer C.

A sunlit street, Culemborg, watercolour on paper, 14.9 x 11.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '89

Springer C.  | A sunny Dutch town with figures near a water pump, oil on panel, 16.3 x 21.7 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated '51Springer C.

A sunny Dutch town with figures near a water pump, oil on panel, 16.3 x 21.7 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated '51

Springer C.  | A sunny town view, oil on panel, 13.7 x 16.1 cm, signed l.l. with mon. and in full on a label on the rev. and painted ca. 1838-1840Springer C.

A sunny town view, oil on panel, 13.7 x 16.1 cm, signed l.l. with mon. and in full on a label on the rev. and painted ca. 1838-1840

Springer C.  | A view of Hasselt in winter, oil on canvas, 46.0 x 62.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1862Springer C.

A view of Hasselt in winter, oil on canvas, 46.0 x 62.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1862

Springer C.  | A view of Hoorn, watercolour on paper, 25.1 x 20.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated Dec. '77Springer C.

A view of Hoorn, watercolour on paper, 25.1 x 20.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated Dec. '77

Springer C.  | A view of the Burgwal, Haarlem, watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 40.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1843Springer C.

A view of the Burgwal, Haarlem, watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 40.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1843

Springer C.  | A view of the Cellebroederspoort, Kampen, oil on panel, 51.5 x 42.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1863Springer C.

A view of the Cellebroederspoort, Kampen, oil on panel, 51.5 x 42.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1863

Springer C.  | A view of the Raamgracht in Haarlem, charcoal on paper, 31.0 x 40.1 cm, signed l.r. and painted 1859Springer C.

A view of the Raamgracht in Haarlem, charcoal on paper, 31.0 x 40.1 cm, signed l.r. and painted 1859

Springer C.  | A view of the Zuiderhavendijk in Enkhuizen, watercolour on paper, 27.4 x 21.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '86Springer C.

A view of the Zuiderhavendijk in Enkhuizen, watercolour on paper, 27.4 x 21.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '86

Springer C.  | A view on the Staaleversgracht in Enkhuizen, oil on panel, 36.2 x 50.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1866Springer C.

A view on the Staaleversgracht in Enkhuizen, oil on panel, 36.2 x 50.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1866

Springer C.  | Activity along a Dutch city canal, oil on canvas, 35.8 x 45.7 cm, gesigneerd r.o. met monogram and gedateerd '42Springer C.

Activity along a Dutch city canal, oil on canvas, 35.8 x 45.7 cm, gesigneerd r.o. met monogram and gedateerd '42

Springer C.  | Amsterdam, charcoal on paper, 30.0 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r.Springer C.

Amsterdam, charcoal on paper, 30.0 x 40.0 cm, signed l.r.

Springer C.  | An experienced horseman, watercolour on paper, 13.1 x 19.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '60Springer C.

An experienced horseman, watercolour on paper, 13.1 x 19.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '60

Springer C.  | At the entrance of the former St. Catharina convent in Brielle, oil on panel, 49.1 x 38.6 cm, signed l.r. in full and l.l. with monogram and reverse and dated '55Springer C.

At the entrance of the former St. Catharina convent in Brielle, oil on panel, 49.1 x 38.6 cm, signed l.r. in full and l.l. with monogram and reverse and dated '55

Springer C.  | Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 49.0 x 39.0 cm, signed l.l., l.r. and on the reverse and painted circa 1857Springer C.

Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 49.0 x 39.0 cm, signed l.l., l.r. and on the reverse and painted circa 1857

Springer C.  | Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 41.1 x 34.5 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and dated '51Springer C.

Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on panel, 41.1 x 34.5 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and dated '51

Springer C.  | Dutch sunny street scene in Alkmaar, oil on panel, 30.1 x 24.7 cm, signed l.r. and verso and dated 1872Springer C.

Dutch sunny street scene in Alkmaar, oil on panel, 30.1 x 24.7 cm, signed l.r. and verso and dated 1872

Springer C.  | Hattem in winter, watercolour on paper, 14.5 x 11.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '89Springer C.

Hattem in winter, watercolour on paper, 14.5 x 11.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '89

Springer C.  | Laundry day in an old Dutch street, pencil and watercolour on paper, 24.6 x 19.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '75Springer C.

Laundry day in an old Dutch street, pencil and watercolour on paper, 24.6 x 19.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '75

Springer C.  | Moored flatboats by a harbour mouth, oil on canvas, 59.0 x 78.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '44Springer C.

Moored flatboats by a harbour mouth, oil on canvas, 59.0 x 78.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '44

Springer C.  | Moored haybarge, oil on canvas, 29.0 x 35.2 cm, signed c.r. and painted circa 1842Springer C.

Moored haybarge, oil on canvas, 29.0 x 35.2 cm, signed c.r. and painted circa 1842

Springer C.  | Preparatory study Donjon 1844, watercolour on paper, 14.0 x 19.0 cm, signed on the reverse and dated 1844Springer C.

Preparatory study Donjon 1844, watercolour on paper, 14.0 x 19.0 cm, signed on the reverse and dated 1844

Springer C.  | Stable boys holding their horse, pencil and watercolour on paper, 24.6 x 19.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '75Springer C.

Stable boys holding their horse, pencil and watercolour on paper, 24.6 x 19.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '75

Springer C.  | Stedehuys Woerden (museum now), charcoal on paper, 48.5 x 39.5 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1858Springer C.

Stedehuys Woerden (museum now), charcoal on paper, 48.5 x 39.5 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1858

Springer C.  | Street behind the city hall of Veere, oil on panel, 50.1 x 40.6 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1858Springer C.

Street behind the city hall of Veere, oil on panel, 50.1 x 40.6 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1858

Springer C.  | The  Vriesestraat in Dordrecht with the entrance of the Gemeenteschool, charcoal on paper, 50.7 x 39.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1 Nov. '82Springer C.

The Vriesestraat in Dordrecht with the entrance of the Gemeenteschool, charcoal on paper, 50.7 x 39.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1 Nov. '82

Springer C.  | The 'Koopmanstraat' and the Wellerondom, Brielle, oil on panel, 50.1 x 40.0 cm, signed l.l. in full and l.r. with mon. and dated l.r. '54Springer C.

The 'Koopmanstraat' and the Wellerondom, Brielle, oil on panel, 50.1 x 40.0 cm, signed l.l. in full and l.r. with mon. and dated l.r. '54

Springer C.  | The Biersluis te Hoorn, charcoal on paper, 52.2 x 63.2 cm, signed l.r. and dated 14 Sept. 1874Springer C.

The Biersluis te Hoorn, charcoal on paper, 52.2 x 63.2 cm, signed l.r. and dated 14 Sept. 1874

Springer C.  | The Doelenkade in Hoorn, in summer, oil on panel, 53.4 x 65.3 cm, signed l.r. in full and with monogram and dated 1875Springer C.

The Doelenkade in Hoorn, in summer, oil on panel, 53.4 x 65.3 cm, signed l.r. in full and with monogram and dated 1875

Springer C.  | The Grote Poortstraat, on the corner of the Kromhoutsteeg, in Harderwijk, watercolour on paper, 27.0 x 21.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1863Springer C.

The Grote Poortstraat, on the corner of the Kromhoutsteeg, in Harderwijk, watercolour on paper, 27.0 x 21.6 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1863

Springer C.  | The Leliestraat in Hoorn, oil on panel, 25.0 x 19.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated '88Springer C.

The Leliestraat in Hoorn, oil on panel, 25.0 x 19.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated '88

Springer C.  | The conversation, watercolour on paper, 7.8 x 5.0 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and executed on 31/12-52Springer C.

The conversation, watercolour on paper, 7.8 x 5.0 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and executed on 31/12-52

Springer C.  | The quasi-house of Rembrandt on the Sint Anthoniebreestraat, Amsterdam, with the entry of the Zuiderkerkhof, oil on panel, 50.6 x 40.4 cm, signed l.l. in full en with mon. l.l. on box and dated 1853Springer C.

The quasi-house of Rembrandt on the Sint Anthoniebreestraat, Amsterdam, with the entry of the Zuiderkerkhof, oil on panel, 50.6 x 40.4 cm, signed l.l. in full en with mon. l.l. on box and dated 1853

Springer C.  | View of the 'Vischbrug', Woerden, oil on panel, 34.2 x 42.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '54Springer C.

View of the 'Vischbrug', Woerden, oil on panel, 34.2 x 42.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated '54

Springer C.  | View of the Vriesestraat, with the Gemeenteschool, Dordrecht, oil on panel, 52.1 x 40.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1885 on the reverseSpringer C.

View of the Vriesestraat, with the Gemeenteschool, Dordrecht, oil on panel, 52.1 x 40.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1885 on the reverse

Springer C.  | Winter landscape with figures gathering wood, drawing on paper, 25.0 x 20.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '80Springer C.

Winter landscape with figures gathering wood, drawing on paper, 25.0 x 20.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '80


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