CORNELIS CHRISTIAAN DOMMELSHUIZEN (Utrecht 1842 – The Hague 1928)
A Dutch Town View
signed twice Chr. Dommelshuizen and dated 1898 in the lower right, and signed, dated, and inscribed on the reverse Hollandsch Stadsgezicht (Groningen) Chr. Dommelshuizen 1898
oil on canvas
31 ¼ x 41 ½ inches (79.4 x 105.4 cm.)
Cornelis Christiaan Dommelshuizen was born in Utrecht in 1842. He was mostly self-taught and traveled to America, Belgium, England, and France, where he became familiar with the major schools of painting in each of these countries. He eventually settled in The Hague and specialized in painting town scenes and views on the water and along riverbanks. He exhibited in Amsterdam from 1860 until 1892, as well as in various places throughout Holland. He was also known to have signed his name as C. Dommerson, as well as Chr. Dommelshuizen. His brother Pieter Cornelis Dommelshuizen and his nephew William Raymond painted similar cityscapes, seascapes, and coastal landscapes.
In the current composition, Dommelshuizen skillfully renders an idealized vision of a town center, portraying an architectural panorama steeped in the soft light of the late afternoon. Of imposing size, the canvas is defined by the sensitivity with which the artist handles his subject. He has depicted a landscape of stone pathways weaving alongside a canal and tall stone buildings stretching elegantly into the sky. Calm patterns of everyday life are carried out within the space of the picture, organized by way of the architectural lines and planes of the buildings, walkways, and bridge. The light and color grow warmer and brighter as the space within the painting recedes. This use of color, the forms of the buildings, and the depictions of the townspeople all lend veracity to Dommelshuizen’s depiction of the Romantic view of Dutch life, as communicated by the artist throughout the poetic language of his painting.
Works by Dommelshuizen can be found in the Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles; Russel-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, UK; Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam; and Centraal Museum, Utrecht, among others.
We would like to thank drs. Laurens Schoemaker of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, for his invaluable assistance in the writing of this entry.