The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh
The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh
The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh

The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague by Vincent van Gogh

  • This compelling view of a cityscape was captured by the deft hand of Vincent van Gogh
  • With its atmospheric palette, this early work signifies a crucial period in his oeuvre
  • Capturing a cityscape in The Hague, it embodies his unique and evocative take on realism
  • The important work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Van Gogh Museum
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Item No. 30-9276
$2,950,000
description
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description
Vincent van Gogh
1853-1890 | Dutch

Nieuwe Kerk en Oude Huizen in Den Haag
(The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague)


Oil on canvas on panel

Painted in The Hague in August 1883, The New Church and Old Houses in The Hague is a compelling and important work from Vincent van Gogh's formative Dutch period. The Impressionist master's compositions from 1881 to 1885 are among his earliest masterpieces, and together they reveal his remarkable skill as a painter. The present piece offers a dramatic demonstration of the young van Gogh's interest in the interplay of light and shadow as he adeptly captures an atmospheric cityscape.

At the time he completed this dramatic landscape, van Gogh was nearing the end of a nearly two-year period spent in The Hague in the western Netherlands. Considered in retrospect, it was one of the most significant periods of his artistic life. He had moved to The Hague in 1881 after a row with his father, renting a studio at Schenkweg 138 only a few streets away from the artist Anton Mauve, with whom he studied. The young van Gogh was attracted to the realism of the Hague School, as well as the subdued colors and loose brushstrokes of artists such as Mauve, H.J. Weissenbruch, Jozef Israëls and Jacob Maris.

The New Church and Old Houses in The Hauge is exemplary of this important early period in van Gogh's career. With its broad brushwork, it embodies his unique and evocative take on realism, pitting atmospheric and hazy fog against an austere skyline to remarkable effect. Even in this early work, the quintessential essence of van Gogh's greatest masterpieces can be seen. His distinctive, heavy-handed brushstrokes and subtle play of color are classic van Gogh, while the work's flattened pictorial plane reflects the advance of Impressionism.

His earliest recognized masterpiece De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters), now in the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), was painted just two years after the present work. A certain likeness can be found between the two paintings, both with their earthy palettes and Realist subjects. Van Gogh had an intense fascination with such everyday scenes. They proved to be an important exploratory genre, allowing the artist to play with perspective and color while developing his own unique style.

Born the son of a pastor in Groot-Zundert, Holland, van Gogh was unsuccessful in several ventures in his early life. In 1880, van Gogh decided to study art and in 1886, he traveled to Paris to join his brother Théo, who was managing Goupil's gallery. There, van Gogh studied with Fernand Cormon and met such Impressionists as Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin, who would become a close friend. Under their influence, he began to brighten his very dark palette and to paint using heavy brushstrokes.

Van Gogh's nervous temperament made him a difficult companion, and night-long discussions, combined with painting all day, undermined his health. In 1888, he moved to Arles where the Provençal landscape provided his best-known subject matter. Here, he hoped his friends would join him and help find a school of art. Gauguin did visit him, but with disastrous results. Some scholars have posited that it was a disagreement with Gauguin that pushed van Gogh to slice off a portion of his earlobe.

From that point, van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment in 1889. He continued to paint, but the following year he committed suicide. Though his death ended a brief career devoid of artistic acclaim, van Gogh has since been exalted as one of the premier painters of all time.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Van Gogh Museum, and it is accompanied by a certificate of authentication.

Circa 1883

Canvas: 13 3/4“ high x 10 1/8” wide
Frame: 24 1/2” high x 20 1/2” wide

Exhibited:
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam, August 1903
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam, 10 November - 15 December 1904
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam, 1905
Vincent van Gogh, 1853 - 1890, Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, February - May 1960
De Haagse School en de jonge Van Gogh, The Hague, Gemeentemuseum, 5 February - 16 May 2005

References:
Kunstberichten uit Rotterdam, Boymans Museum, Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Onze Kunst 2, 1903, by R. Jacobsen, pp. 59 - 60
L’Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh, Catalogue Raisonné, Paris & Brussels 1928, by J.-B. de la Faille, no. 204 (illustrated)
Vincent van Gogh, Paris 1939, by J.-B. de la Faille, no. 228 (illustrated)
Vincent van Gogh in zijn Antwerpsche periode, Amsterdam 1948, by M. Edo Tralbaut, pp. 188 - 191, no. 2 (pl. XII)
Exhibition catalogue Vincent van Gogh, 1853 - 1890, Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, February - May 1960, no. 20
The Works of Vincent van Gogh. His paintings and drawings, revised, augmented and annotated edition, Amsterdam 1970, by J.-B. de la Faille, p. 48, no. 204 (illustrated)
L’opera pittorica di Van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici, Milan 1971, by P. Lecaldano, p. 48, no. 3
Van Gogh en zijn weg. Al zijn tekeningen en schilderijen in hun samenhang en ontwikkeling, Amsterdam 1977, by J. Hulsker, no. 190, p. 52 (illustrated)
Vincent van Gogh. Cologne 1989, by I.F. Walther and R. Metzger, p. 22 (illustrated)
Van Gogh. Catalogo completo dei dipinti, Firenze 1990, by G. Testori and L. Arrigoni, p. 18, no. 13 (illustrated)
Van Gogh en Den Haag, Zwolle 1990, by M. van der Mast and C. Dumas, pp. 55-56
The New Complete Van Gogh. Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam & Philadelphia 1996, by J. Hulsker, p. 52, no. 190 (illustrated)
Liever sentiment dan stemming, The Hague, 2005, by F. Leeman, pp. 149-150 (illustrated)

Provenance:
Oldenzeeel, Rotterdam
Jan Smit, Alblasserdam, 1905
A Mak Auction, Amsterdam, 10 February 1919
L.J. Smit, Kinderdijk
Parke-Bernet Auction, New York, 20 November 1968
Palais Galliéra Auction, Paris, 22 July 1970
Private collection, France
Thence by descent
Private collection, Netherlands
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2019
specifications
Artist: van Gogh, Vincent
Framed:20.5"W x 24.5"H
Unframed:10.125"W x 13.75"H
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:Other Europe
Subject:Cityscapes
Depth:2.75 Inches
Width:20.5 Inches
Height:24.5 Inches
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