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Cityscape paintings subject • artists • artworks for sale cityscape in fine art

The cityscape, a reflection of our built environment, developed into an independent genre in the Netherlands in the second half of the 17th century. It mainly developed in Amsterdam. This was probably related to the growth and prosperity of the city as the center of the powerful Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and the increasing prosperity of the merchants and city regents. They probably liked to see the city to which they owed their wealth hanging on their wall. Due to the broad demand for cityscapes, artists made it their specialty, such as Jan van der Heyden and Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde. A prerequisite for success was a realistic and accurate depiction of the city. As far as can now be ascertained, these cityscapes were sometimes topographically correct, but usually the painters tinkered with a composition until an attractive whole was obtained.

In the 18th century, the genre's popularity declined somewhat, but in the 19th century it started to flourish again. One of the most important interpreters of the cityscape was the Amsterdam painter Cornelis Springer. From about 1875 onwards he painted city portraits in meticulous brushstrokes, with a town hall or rich merchant houses in the Dutch Renaissance style in the center of the image, bathed in bright sunlight. He found inspiration in the big cities and in the old fishing towns around the Zuiderzee. In doing so, he embellished reality somewhat through changes in the composition and the omission of disturbing, contemporary elements. Striking is the precise elaboration of architectural details such as frames, window divisions and ornaments, which are displayed down to the smallest parts. By depicting 16th and early 17th-century buildings, with their stepped gables and characteristic combination of red brick and sandstone moldings, he responded to the growing interest in buyers' circles for the own past of the Golden Age. The same realism and attention to old Dutch architecture is evident in the urban fantasies and portraits of Adrianus Eversen, Frederik Roosdorp, Jan Weissenbruch and Willem Koekkoek. In addition to topographically more or less accurate architectural paintings, there were also Old Dutch townscapes in which the emphasis seems to lie on the picturesque and the atmosphere. The work of the Hague set painter B.J. van Hove, twenty years older than Springer, is an example of this, as is that of his students P.G. Vertin and Charles Leickert. They provide their imaginary Dutch towns, in summer or winter, at will with the striking towers of the Oude Kerk in Delft, the Sint-Bavo and the Bakenesserkerk in Haarlem or the Grote Kerk in Alkmaar.

The idealized cityscape as described above came to an end later in the 19th century, when the painters of the Hague School proclaimed their theories about plein air painting. City chroniqueur Floris Arntzenius painted in The Hague and impressionists such as G.H. Breitner and Isaac Israels on the street in search of pieces of urban reality. In addition to the bustle of the city, Breitner also painted the alleys in the Jordaan and the silence of the Bickerseiland, near his studio. He also found typical parts of Rotterdam, which show us the city from a completely different side than the images of the never-resting port city that Johan Hendrik van Mastenbroek left us.

Typical of the painting of the Amsterdam painters born after 1860 is the need to express their own, individual in their art. Art is passion, the poet Willem Kloos expressed this point of view. This was expressed in a small group of painters in the need not to paint for trade or the public, but for themselves and like-minded people. Willem Witsen focused in his Amsterdam cityscapes from 1887 on depicting mood and the timeless beauty of the city. Like Breitner, Witsen was a photographer. He did not use his photos for his paintings, but it does explain his special way of looking. The Impressionists' cityscape influenced many painters in the 20th century, up to the present day. While some were influenced by new artistic movements such as Neo-Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism and Realism, these Impressionists continued on their chosen path. The complete artistic freedom that arose after 1945 eventually led to a new visual interpretation of the world of city and village.

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Kees Maks | The Rokin, Amsterdam, by night, oil on board, 23.0 x 32.2 cm, signed l.r.

Kees Maks

painting • for sale

The Rokin, Amsterdam, by night

Bart van Hove | A sunny townview, oil on panel, 61.7 x 82.5 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1840

Bart van Hove

painting • for sale

A sunny townview

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | The Old City Hall of The Hague on the Groenmarkt, oil on panel, 40.0 x 32.9 cm, signed l.r.

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

The Old City Hall of The Hague on the Groenmarkt

Karel Klinkenberg | A view of a town with the Groenmolen and tower of the Nieuwe Kerk of Delft, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 47.4 cm, signed l.r.

Karel Klinkenberg

painting • for sale

A view of a town with the Groenmolen and tower of the Nieuwe Kerk of Delft

Jan van Heel | Paris (little square), oil on panel, 51.0 x 34.0 cm, painted ca. 1946

Jan van Heel

painting • for sale

Paris (little square)

Jan Hendrik Verheijen | The poultry market, oil on canvas, 64.7 x 54.9 cm, signed l.l. and without frame

Jan Hendrik Verheijen

painting • for sale

The poultry market

Adriaan Vrolijk | Dutch city canal with shipping and figures, oil on panel, 38.6 x 52.4 cm, signed l.r.

Adriaan Vrolijk

painting • for sale

Dutch city canal with shipping and figures

Adrianus Eversen | Sunny town view with a city gate, oil on panel, 13.1 x 18.0 cm, signed l.r. with monogram

Adrianus Eversen

painting • for sale

Sunny town view with a city gate

Felicien Bobeldijk | A view of Amsterdam, oil on canvas laid down on board, 13.0 x 21.5 cm, signed l.l.

Felicien Bobeldijk

painting • for sale

A view of Amsterdam

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | Activity in a Dutch street, oil on canvas, 45.4 x 35.6 cm, signed l.l. and without frame

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

Activity in a Dutch street

Jan Rijlaarsdam | The Leidsestraat in Amsterdam, pastel and watercolour on paper, 28.2 x 20.2 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Rijlaarsdam

watercolour • drawing • for sale

The Leidsestraat in Amsterdam

Ko Cossaar | Omnibusses in a London street, pencil and watercolour on paper, 38.8 x 55.8 cm, signed l.r.

Ko Cossaar

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Omnibusses in a London street

Andries Scheerboom | Daily activities in a Dutch town, oil on canvas, 53.5 x 66.6 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1856

Andries Scheerboom

painting • for sale

Daily activities in a Dutch town

Jan Weissenbruch | A walk in a sunny city, oil on panel, 19.0 x 14.9 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Weissenbruch

painting • for sale

A walk in a sunny city

Charles Leickert | Busy street in the snow, oil on canvas, 72.7 x 52.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '88, without frame

Charles Leickert

painting • for sale

Busy street in the snow

Willy Sluiter | The Rio dei Greci, Venice, chalk on paper, 36.2 x 25.3 cm, signed l.l. and dated April '28

Willy Sluiter

watercolour • drawing • for sale

The Rio dei Greci, Venice

Frans Meijers | A view of  the Rokin in Amsterdam from the Arti building, oil on canvas, 70.1 x 60.1 cm, signed l.r.

Frans Meijers

painting • for sale

A view of the Rokin in Amsterdam from the Arti building

Ype Wenning | Activity on a city quay, oil on canvas, 50.5 x 70.6 cm, signed l.r. and without frame

Ype Wenning

painting • for sale

Activity on a city quay

Pol Dom | Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, pencil, chalk and watercolour on paper, 20.2 x 27.0 cm, signed l.l.

Pol Dom

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris

Jan Hillebrand Wijsmuller | Moored tjalk at the quay, watercolour on paper, 33.5 x 51.0 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Hillebrand Wijsmuller

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Moored tjalk at the quay

Willem Maxiliaan van Heun | A busy day at the market, oil on panel, 20.6 x 27.8 cm, signed c.l. and dated 1860

Willem Maxiliaan van Heun

painting • for sale

A busy day at the market

Hollandse School, 19e eeuw | Panoramic view of the German city of Kleve with the Swan Castle and the Stiftskirche, ink on paper, 23.1 x 38.2 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1842

Hollandse School, 19e eeuw

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Panoramic view of the German city of Kleve with the Swan Castle and the Stiftskirche

Hendrik Spetter | The Spaansekade in Rotterdam, oil on canvas, 50.1 x 70.1 cm, signed l.r. and dated '76

Hendrik Spetter

painting • for sale

The Spaansekade in Rotterdam

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | Old Dutch cityscape, oil on panel, 11.9 x 8.9 cm, signed l.l.

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

Old Dutch cityscape

Johannes Franciscus Spohler | Daily activities in a sunlit street, oil on canvas, 44.3 x 35.3 cm, signed l.r.

Johannes Franciscus Spohler

painting • for sale

Daily activities in a sunlit street

Pol Dom | Place de l'Odéon in Paris, with vintage cars, pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper, 16.3 x 24.6 cm, signed l.r.

Pol Dom

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Place de l'Odéon in Paris, with vintage cars

Kees Verwey | Woman in a street, chalk and watercolour on paper, 26.8 x 39.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated '90

Kees Verwey

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Woman in a street

Jan van Vuuren | Cityscape with harbor, oil on canvas, 24.4 x 36.4 cm

Jan van Vuuren

painting • for sale

Cityscape with harbor


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