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Core Record

Title Coast Scene with Fishing Boats
Alternative Title Coastal Scene with Sailing Boats in the Background; River Scene with Effect of an Approaching Storm
Collection Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens, Barnsley
Artist Neer, Aert van der (Dutch painter, 1603-1677)
Date Earliest probably 1665
Date Latest 1677
Signed yes
Description Aert van der Neer was one of the most prolific Dutch landscapists. Born around 1603-4 in Amsterdam, he spent his youth in Gorinchem, moving back to Amsterdam in about 1630. From 1658 he kept a wine shop but was not successful and was declared bankrupt in December 1662. It is after this time that he is likely to have returned to painting full time. Most of van der Neer's works are either winter or night scenes. It is not clear whether this work is meant to depict a moonlight scene or whether this is the effect of an approaching storm, the clouds blocking the sun which is seen breaking through the clouds. As with many of van der Neer's works, the light is reflected on the water. The sea walls are clearly visible. The town and buildings shown are unlikely to be a specific place.
Current Accession Number A1938
Inscription front ll 'AV DN'
Subject figure; townscape; marine; everyday life
Measurements 37.3 x 43.4 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by the National Art-Collections Fund 2002.
Provenance Earl of Shaftesbury sale, Christie & Manson, London, 15 May 1852, lot 52, bought by Rutley, 131.5s; bought from Rutley by William Harvey of Barnsley, 11 June 1852, 60, as River scene with effect of an approaching storm, 60; by descent to Henry Harvey, JP (1867-1879); by descent to William Harvey of Leeds (1879-1917); given by William Harvey to National Loan Collection Trust, 19 June 1917; transferred to National Art-Collections Fund, 20 May 2002.
Principal Exhibitions The Loan Collection of Works by 'Old Masters', and by deceased artists of the English and Foreign Schools, Municipal Art Gallery, Leeds, 1889-90, cat. no. 448; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds City Art Gallery, 1982-83.
Publications Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1919, 1920, 1928, 1930, 1937, cat. no. 33, ill. pp. 72-73; Catalogue of Pictures in the National Loan Collection Trust, London, 1954, cat. no. 33, p. 11; The William Harvey Collection of Dutch and Flemish Paintings, Cannon Hall Museum, 1975, cat. no. 29; Wright, C., Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, London, 1989, pp. 224, 274; Schulz, W., Aert van der Neer, Netherlands, 2002, cat. no. 269, p. 199, as Coastal Scene with Sailing Boars in the Background; Dutch 17th century Paintings from Yorkshire Public Collections, Leeds, 1982, p. 106.

The town represented in the painting does not seem to appear in any other of van de Neer's seascapes. However, the earthenware urn or pot placed in the foreground on the shore is used by him in a number of others. Similarly, the artist also often places a small fishing boat with two fishermen in the foreground of his paintings.

This painting is part of a collection formed by William Harvey of Barnsley (1811-1867). Harvey was a Quaker, whose family made its money in the linen industry. Most of the paintings were acquired between 1849 and 1866 through the dealer Thomas R. Rutley and his son Colonel J. L. Rutley. The company later traded as Messrs Rutley. The collection consists mainly of Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century paintings. On his death, the collection passed to Harvey's brother, Henry Harvey, J.P. (1814-1879). Nothing was added to the collection during this period and it was passed by descent to a nephew, William Harvey of Leeds. William Harvey of Leeds donated his collection to the National Loan Collection Trust in 1917. The purpose of the Trust was to lend pictures to regional galleries in England and the British Colonies. It was finally agreed to lend the collection on long term loan to Cannon Hall in Barnsley and in 2002 the collection was transferred to them on a permanent basis.

The original invoice for this work survives at the NACF. The 1919 catalogue of the National Loan Collection Trust records that the painting was in the collection of the Earl of Shaftesbury. It is likely to be the work in the following auction of the collection of Lord Shaftesbury (this was purchased by Rutley, the dealer from whom Harvey bought his paintings. A work by Karel du Jardin in the collection of Harvey may have been purchased from the auction of the collection of Lord Shaftesbury at the same time). Sale catalogue entry: Catalogue of a Portion of the Valuable Collection of Pictures, of High Class, the Property of The Right Hon. The Earl of Shaftesbury, Deceased, And removed from St. Gile's Park, Christie & Manson, 15 May 1852 'Van Der Neer Lot 52. A river scene, with numerous boats. Painted with the effect of an approaching storm. A most striking example.'

Rights Owner Cannon Hall Museum (Barnsley Metropolitan Council)
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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