De Vijzelstraat te Enkhuizen
signed and dated 'Springer./1866' (lower right); inscribed, dated and signed 'De ondergetekende verklaart/dat deze schilderij voorstellende/Gezicht naar de Zuiderkerk/te Enkhuizen, Provincie Noord-Holland/door hem is vervaardigd/Amsterdam/6 June 1866 C Springer' (on a label attached to the reverse, with the artist's seals)

oil on panel
1938 x 2558 in. (49.3 x 65.2 cm.)
The artist.
with C. H. Nieuwenhuys, London, acquired directly from the above, 18 June 1866.
with Leslie Smith Gallery, Wassenaar and Amsterdam, by 1994.
W. Laanstra, H. C. de Bruijn, J. H. A. Ringeling, Cornelis Springer (1817-1891), Utrecht, 1984, no. 66-7.
W. Laanstra, Cornelis Springer, Geschilderde Steden, Amsterdam, 1994, p. 63, illustrated.
W. Laanstra, Cornelis Springer en het getekende stadsgezicht, pp. 49, 58, no. 6.
Enkhuizen, Zuiderzeemuseum, Door het oog van Cornelis Springer, 1817-1891 : Een ontdekkingstocht langs de steden rondom de Zuiderzee, 12 December 2015-10 April 2016, no. 80, as De Vijzelstraat in Enkhuizen.
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Lot Essay

Cornelis Springer is considered to be one of the most important and influential Dutch architectural painters of the 19th century. Born into an Amsterdam family of building contractors and architects, he became the townscape painter par excellence of his time. He began his artistic education under the tutelage of the well-known and celebrated architectural painter Kasparus Karsen, and in the two years that Springer was Kersen’s apprentice, he would learn how to create capriccio city views intertwined with topographically correct elements. It was the contemporary trend for painters in his circles to idealize the past and especially the Dutch national heritage. However, from the 1850s onwards, Springer moved towards more realistic subject matter. He chose to abandon the fantasy elements within his work and concentrated on capturing topographical locations in exacting detail.
The present lot is an excellent example of Springer's realistic and topographically correct style. Although Springer most often depicted his hometown Amsterdam, he also painted several other Dutch towns, such as Haarlem, Enkhuizen, Zwolle, Kampen and Monnickendam. Depicted here is Enkuizen, which was one of the most powerful cities in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Together with the city of Hoorn, Einkuizen amassed considerable power and influence as a member of the Dutch East India Company. After 1864 Springer regularly visited Enkuizen and many drawings and preparatory sketches for his later compositions are known. The subject painting is a view towards the Zuiderkerk, also called Sint-Pancraskerk. Construction on the church began in 1422 or 1423 and while the structure was mostly finished by 1458, the upper part of the 75-meter tall tower was not completed until 1524. The church and the tower still dominate the cityscape today.
In the present composition, Springer draws the spectator into the sunlit street, where the townspeople are engaged in their daily activities. A young mother and her child walk down the center of the street while a peddler leans over her barrow. Groups of people on either side of the street anchor the composition, one bathed in light and other softened in the shadows. Even in the shadowy areas of the composition the effects of indirect light are captured in detail. The brilliant play of strongly contrasting light and shadows, the detailed rendering of the historical gables, an abundance of architectural details, as well as his lively staffage clearly demonstrate all the artistic and technical skills for which Cornelis Springer is famous.

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