Hoogsteder Journal No. 01

Affordable Old Master Paintings from the Age of Vermeer

Journalists love writing about the millions of guilders people pay for old masters. Naturally, art dealers Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder are also active at the top end of the market. But to prove that good-quality seventeenth-century paintings are not the preserve of the super-rich, in the spring of 1996 Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder organized an exhibition of old master paintings in the f 25,000 to f 250.000 price range. Many collectors came to view the exhibition and some thirty works changed hands. Various museums also acquired paintings, including Delft’s Prinsenhof museum. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published a piece by Thea Detiger on 24 August 1996 about the exhibition and the Delft museum purchase. It gives a good impression of the Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder perspective on this section of the old master market. This is what she wrote:

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Maritime Painting Ahoy!

Lying strategically on Europe’s principal waterways, Holland experienced unprecedented economic growth in the seventeenth century. By mid-century Dutch ships carried more tonnage than all the vessels of the other nations put together. It was only natural, therefore, that painters began specializing in nautical themes. Willem van de Velde the Elder, like his predecessor Hendrick Vroom, painted to tell a story. Others, such as Jan Porcellis, Simon de Vlieger, Jan van de Cappelle, Willem van de Velde the Younger and Ludolf Bakhuysen, concentrated more on atmosphere in their maritime paintings. Then, as now, their works enjoyed tremendous popularity among collectors.

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Maerten in Cyberkitsch

The big art story on radio and television last September concerned Maerten van Heemskerck. To mark the reopening of Alkmaar’s Grote Kerk the artists society, De Werkmaatschappij, beamed over the painter’s massive altarpiece from Sweden via Internet. This was then painted by a computerized printer onto a new six-by-eight metre panel. The modern-day triptych was heralded as a new art work, an apparition from outer space.

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Broken Petals Never Fade

Tussen Kunst en Kitsch, the popular Dutch television programme on antiques, was recorded on 10 June 1996 in the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. From the many paintings that he saw that day, John Hoogsteder, the resident expert on old master paintings selected for the broadcast a panel showing the Madonna and Child surrounded by a garland of flowers. This Flemish work was painted on an oak panel by Andries Daniels in the mid-seventeenth century. Daniels (born c. 1580 in Antwerp) was a pupil of Jan Brueghel the Elder and mainly painted wreaths of flowers in oval cartouches. In general, these paintings contain a central niche depicting a religious scene. These groups of figures were usually executed by another painter. In this floral painting by Daniels, the central niche shows a Madonna and Child by an unidentified master.

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Travels with Jan van Goyen

Another feature in this autumn’s agenda is the work of Jan Steen’s father-in-law, Jan van Goyen (1596-1656). Van Goyen was born four hundred years ago in Leiden. To mark the anniversary, Leiden’s Lakenhal museum is focusing on his importance as an innovator in landscape art with an exhibition of over fifty paintings and thirty sketches, on view until 13 January 1997. Van Goyen was one of the first to turn the flat Dutch countryside with its rising dunes and broad rivers and its characteristic weather conditions into attractive, poetic images.

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A Hidden Marriage

Among the works in the present Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder collection is a still life by Clara Peeters depicting a Venetian glass, a rummer and a burning candle. The painting, dated 1607, is the earliest recorded work of this rarely-found female artist. A closer inspection reveals some exceptional artistic qualities in addition to a deeper meaning of what appears to be an everyday subject.

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Popular Delft Portraitist and his Patron identified in The Hague

For years late seventeenth-century portraits remained at the less popular end of the market. Today, however, interest is rapidly increasing as people discover the excellent quality-price ratio and as art-historical appreciation of the genre grows. Impressed by the high artistic quality, Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder recently acquired a beautifully painted portrait by an anonymous painter of the late seventeenth century. Now, following detailed research, the identities of both painter and sitter have begun to emerge.

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