The Montelbaanstoren on the Oude Schans in summer 1913
- About the artworkProvenance: auction S.J. Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 13 feb. 1934, lotnr. 147 (image); auction Paul Brandt, Amsterdam, 25 okt. 1966, lotnr. 288 (image); auction Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 15 nov. 1976, lotnr. 172 (image); Kunsthandel Wending, Amsterdam, 1979; coll. Meentwijck, Bussum, 2004.
Literature: tent.cat. Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Wending, 'Najaarstentoonstelling', 1979, image pag. 33; tent.cat. Eindhoven, Museum Kempenland, 'Verborgen kostelijkheden in de regio. Een keuze uit particulier bezit', 1986, pag. 48, image 105; Jenny Reynaerts e.a., 'Willem Witsen 1860-1923: schilderijen, tekeningen, prenten, foto's', Bussum 2003, colour image pag. 104.
Exhibition: Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Wending, 'Najaarstentoonstelling', sept.-nov. 1979; Eindhoven, Museum Kempenland, 'Verborgen kostelijkheden in de regio. Een keuze uit particulier bezit', april-mei 1986; Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, 'Willem Witsen 1860-1923 - Stemmingen', aug.-nov. 2003; Hattem, Voerman Museum, 'Jaargenoten Jan Voerman senior Rijksacademie Amsterdam 1876', sept. 2005-jan. 2006; 'Jongkind tot Van der Leck, de passie van een collectioneur: Collectie Kamerbeek', Amersfoort, Museum Flehite, jan.-april 2007/Amersfoort, Armando Museum, july-sept. 2007.
Willem Witsen attended the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam, between 1876 and 1884, and there became friends with the painters E. Karsen, Tholen, Breitner and Israels. After a stay in London, where he became acquainted with Whistler’s work, Witsen began painting dreamy, quiet cityscapes in a dark palette that were to become his specialism. Unlike Breitner and Israels’ bustling city impressions, Witsen saw Amsterdam as a monument to timeless beauty. He also painted landscapes and sometimes still lifes and portraits.
- About the artist
Willem Witsen was a Dutch artist who was born in Amsterdam on 13 September 1860. He died in Amsterdam on 13 April 1923. Witsen originated from a prestigious Amsterdam family. Between 1876 and 1884 he studied at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (State Academy of Fine Arts). He was a painter but he became also a famous graphic artist. In 1885, he established with two art lovers the Nederlandse Etsclub, a society for etchers. During the 1880s, Witsen started to paint gloomy cityscapes of Amsterdam, Dordrecht and London. He also was a painter of still lifes and portraits. Like George Hendrik Breitner, Witsen became known for his pictures which he probably started taking from 1890.