Jan ten Compe was one of the most important Dutch architectural painters of the 18th century. A resident of Amsterdam and The Hague, his detailed and sophisticated views were inspired by those of the 17th-century townscape painters Jan van der Heyden and Gerrit Berckheyde. Ten Compe was highly prized in his lifetime and enjoyed the friendship and patronage of many wealthy collectors, including Gerrit Braamcamp (1699-1771).
In 1754 the Amsterdam artist and art collector Jacob Buys (1724-1801) painted a full length portrait of Jan ten Compe, posing elegantly with his painter’s palette and brushes, standing next to his composition of the present view of Buitenplaats Groeneveld on an easel (fig. 1), last seen with Douwes in 1950 at the antique fair in Delft.
Not much is known of Buitenplaats Groeneveld. In 1719 the homestead was sold by Jacob Cornelis Bakker, bailiff of Buren, to Cornelis Hendriksz. Schouten. Hendrik Tavenier (1734-1807) made a drawing of the Buitenplaats in 1782 from a different viewpoint (collection Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap, Amsterdam).
HENRIJ THEODOOR COX (1868-1935)
Henrij Th. Cox was an intellectual, entrepreneur, lieutenant at sea and a writer. He was the co-founder of several companies in the ports of Amsterdam, such as the Amsterdamsch Havenbedrijf and the Nederlandsche Steenkolen Handelmaatschappij. As was one of the directors of the Hollandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij, the Dutch Steamboat Company, he governed from Amsterdam scheduled shipping services to various British, European and West-African ports. Cox was an avid sailor and a passionate researcher of Napoleon. In 1916 his book Napoleon krijgsgevangen : historie en legende was published. Born in Batavia as the son of a celebrated businessman, Cox moved as a young boy to The Netherlands, where he grew up surrounded by Asian works of art collected by his parents in the Indies. He himself started collecting with the help of connoisseur and collector Frits Lugt and held a particular fondness for maritime subjects. By the end of his lifetime his collection comprised of works by eminent masters of the Dutch Golden Age such as Willem van de Velde, Lieven Verschuier, Willem Kalf, Aert van der Neer, Aelbert Cuyp, Jan Siberechts and Willem Claesz. Heda amongst others.