Willem Koekkoek artwork • painting • previously for sale A view of the Koppelpoort, Amersfoort
Amsterdam 1839-1895 Nieuwer-Amstel (thans Amstelveen)
A view of the Koppelpoort, Amersfoort
oil on canvas 53.6 x 68.8 cm, signed l.r.
This painting was previously for sale.
Every day many thousands of train travelers pass through the Koppelpoort in Amersfoort, a combined land and water gate that connects to the river Eem and was completed shortly after 1400. It is part of the second fortress wall, which was built in the first half of the 15th century, because the space within the original city wall was no longer sufficient for the expanding city. The gate could be closed in defense with large wooden doors. The gatekeepers sat in the small rooms in the towers. Later the skippers' guild was established here, and now there is a puppet theater. The Koppelpoort offers a picturesque view that has been captured by many painters. For example, the famous 'city portraitist' Cornelis Springer immortalized the gate and Willem Koekkoek, whom Springer regarded as his great example, was seduced into a romantic impression of this historic fortification. He may have made this painting in the period 1878-1880, when he lived in Utrecht and the nearby Amersfoort was easy to travel. Willem Koekkoek painted the gate on the city side, with a white plastered facade and a house on the left and right. That gives a friendlier picture than the situation now, with the gate completely in brick uniform and flanked by 'closed' facades with shutters for windows and doors. A view that is unknown to many train travelers: it cannot be seen from the track…