Jan van Goyen

The Castle of IJsselstein

One of the pioneers and leaders of Dutch realistic landscape painting, Van Goyen experimented extensively with his palette, introducing a new "tonal" manner which resulted in a series of monochromatic paintings. The site of the painting is IJsselstein, a village situated on the IJssel river near Utrecht; only a stair tower of the castle depicted here survives today.

Archer-Houblon collection, Welford Park, Berkshire, UK [1]

Spink & Sons, London, UK [2]

A. de Casseres, London [3]

by 1934/05/07–still in 1934/06/02
Kunsthandel Douwes, Amsterdam, The Netherlands [4]

by 1934/11/17–still in 1934/12/15
Nathan and Benjamin Katz, Dieren, The Netherlands [5]

Baron Van Heeckeren Van Molecaten, Hattem, The Netherlands [6]

Estate of Nathan Katz, Dieren, The Netherlands, and Basel, Switzerland [7]

1951/04/25–1952 /03/27
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, UK, purchased from the Katz estate [8]

1952 /03/27–
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Thomas Agnew & Sons [9]

The main source for this provenance is Hans-Ulrich Beck's catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 692 [Beck, Hans-Ulrich “Jan Van Goyen 1596–1656. Ein Oeuvreverzeichnis.” Amsterdam: Van Gendt & Co. 1973, p. 316]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] Welford Park has been in the possession o f the Archer-Houblon family since 1618.

[2] Spink & Sons was a London art dealership.

[3] A. de Casseres was a London art dealer.

[4] The work was included in an exhibition at the art dealership of the Douwes brothers in Amsterdam from May 7 to June 2, 1934 [“Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Oude Schilderijen.” Kunsthandel Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam, cat. no. 20, repr.] The catalogue does not include any information about seller or buyer of the work.

[5] The painting was included in an exhibition organised by the art dealers Nathan and Benjamin Katz at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem in 1934 [“Tentoonstelling van Schilderijen van oud-hollandsche Meesters uit de collectie Katz de Dieren.” Nov. 17 – Dec. 15 1934 Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands no. 13 as Riviergezicht]. The catalogue mentions that the work comes from an English collection.

[6] Baron Van Heeckeren Van Molencaten is listed as a former owner of the work in the Paris sales catalogue of 1951 [See note 7]. He can possibly be identified as Evert Walraven Van Heeckeren Van Molencaten (1914–2001) who was private secretary to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands from 1950–56.

[7] The painting was included in the estate sale of Nathan Katz (d.1949), held at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris on April 25, 1951. It sold to the art dealer Agnew & Sons of London [“Succession N. K. … Importants Tableaux Anciens.“ Galerie Charpentier, Paris, April 25, lot 25 as Vue de Chateau de Montfort]. The earlier provenance listed in the catalogue is confused with that of a different painting by Van Goyen (Beck cat. no 691), now in the Bührle collection, Zürich. However, Baron Van Heeckeren Van Molencaten is listed as the last owner of the work.

[8] See note [7].

[9] Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].

The Ottawa panel has been confused in the past with a very similar com­position of the Montfoort castle of 1648 in the Bührle collection, Zürich, of almost the same di­mensions (Hofstede de Groot, VIII [1927], cat. no. 165; Beck, no. 691).

The Castle of IJsselstein
oil on oak
66 x 97.8 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1952
Accession number