Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch
The Hague 1824 – The Hague 1903
Oil on canvas
72.3 x 102.9 cm
Gift of Mrs. William R. Miller, inv. 1942.760
At the turn of the twentieth century, Hague School paintings were popular with collectors in Scotland and their number among Scottish immigrants to Canada. Scholars have argued that these paintings appealed to these collectors because of the cultural similarities between Scotland and the Netherlands, due to their common Protestantism and economic reliance on land and sea. In Montreal, collecting European art also became a tool for wealthy families to distinguish themselves as part of a cultured elite.
One of these Montreal collectors described his affinity for the Hague School painters, above all Weissenbruch, in the following manner:
We are struck by their unaffected simplicity and
straightforwardness, and also by their perfect tone quality and
beautiful harmony of contrasted colour. Showing how much
can be gained by emphasizing this simplicity and tone quality,
proving the importance of generalizing, and exhibiting the
strongly subjective side of painting, are their additions to the art
knowledge of the world. For these things they have given up
much, but they held them to be all-important and well worth
what they cost.