CAREL WILLINK (1900-1983)
Huisje met twee hulstboompjes (House with two holly trees)
signed and dated 'Willink '34' (lower right)
oil on canvas
90.5 x 68cm.
Painted in 1934
Kunstzaal van Lier, Amsterdam.
A. Boersma, Haarlem (by 1938 until at least 1949, listed as such in the exhibition catalogues of 1948-1949).
M.L. de Boer, Amsterdam, their label with inv. no. 11864 (as ‘Huis aan de Overtoom’).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's Mak van Waay Amsterdam, 8 December 1975, lot 410.
Mr. B. Meijer, Wassenaar.
Thence by descent to the present owners.
C. Wentinck, Nederlandse Schilderkunst, Utrecht 1960, no. 40.
W. Kraus, Willink, The Hague 1973, no. 91.
H.L.C. Jaffé, Willink, Amsterdam 1979, no. 158.
H.L.C. Jaffé, Willink, Hardenberg 2000 (1984), p. 246, no. 158 (illustrated on p. 80) (as ‘Huisje met twee hulstboompjes’).
R. van Gemeren, Amsterdam door de ogen van Carel Willink, Zwolle 2021, pp. 94-95, illustrated (as ‘Huis met twee hulstboompjes’).
The Hague, Kunsthandel G.J. Nieuwenhuizen Segaar, A.C. Willink, 1934.
Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Huinck en Scherjon, Tentoonstelling van schilderijen daar A.C. Willink, 1934.
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Schilderijen A.C. Willink, 1939, no. 30.
Willemstad, Curaçao Museum, Tentoonstelling van hedendaagse Nederlandse schilders in West-Indië, 1948-1949, no. 51.
Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, A.C. Willink, 1949.
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Breitner: tussen de schilders van Amsterdam, 1957-1958.
Zeist, Slot Zeist, Willink natuurlijk, 1988.
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Lot Essay

Carel Willink is one of the foremost Dutch artists of the 20th century. At the age of eighteen he was much interest in architecture and studies for a year in Delft. After a year he decide for a career as painter. In the beginning he experimented with expressionist and abstract art, after that, he turned to figuration, developing his personal neorealist style, which he himself referred to as ‘imaginary realism’. In 1931, he travelled to Italy, visiting Florence and Pisa, and venturing as south as Pompeii. This journey, echoing the 18th century Grand Tour, exerted a profound influence on his oeuvre.

The present work is a perfect example of Willink’s mature style of the 1930s. In these years Carel Willink painted a number of estranged 'portraits' of monumental houses in Amsterdam. He had a clear preference for late nineteenth-century, neoclassical residential homes, which he could find in a short distance from his own house in the neighbourhood of the Rijksmuseum. The most well-known painting of this series is Het gele huis, also from 1934, for which a house on the Vossiusstraat served as a model. In most of these architectural pictures Willink isolates these buildings and gives them a cold and clean present, so that a feeling of uneasiness forces itself on the viewer. This sense of alienation is very typical for Willinks work of that period. The widespread feeling of uncertainty of that time, together with the political turmoil, were subtly conveyed by Willink in these paintings.

The painting Huis met de twee hulstboompjes was modelled after a large white house on the corner of Nassaukade and Overtoom. It has now been demolished. In this painting, the house is wedged between twee brick houses. It must have just rained as the street is still wet and deserted. Not a soul in the street and the sky is overcast. In front of the house are two small trees, behind which the house seems hiding behind. Nothing can been seen through the windows, excepts the curtains. It looks like there are two windows open up in the attic. The painting seems to be telling a story but we can only guess what is going on. What prevails is a feeling of unease.

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