© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

The prolific Jan van Goyen ranks among the leading exponents of the “tonal phase” of Dutch landscape painting. In the late 1620s and ’30s, he painted dunes, rivers, beaches, winter scenes, and cottages along country roads in a monochromatic palette of finely modulated browns, grays, and greens, later adding panoramas, marine vistas, and views of cities to his repertory. Throughout his career, Van Goyen produced finished drawings intended for sale, of which On the Seashore is a characteristic example. About 800 survive, and no fewer than 350 date from the period 1651 through 1653. Precursors of lighthouses, low towers of the type represented here provided navigational signals. To mark the shoreline for mariners sailing in the dark, an iron basket with burning fuel would have been hoisted up a pole like the one that rises from the balcony of the tower in the drawing

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1965.204
People
Jan van Goyen, Dutch (Leiden, Netherlands 1596 - 1656 The Hague, Netherlands)
Title
On the Seashore
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
1652
Culture
Dutch
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Black chalk and gray wash on cream antique laid paper, framing line in black chalk
Dimensions
14.3 x 21.7 cm (5 5/8 x 8 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: lower left, black chalk: VG 1652
  • watermark: Horn in shield with crown, and MG below; variant of Churchill 315 (1623– 95); a similar mark appears on other Van Goyen drawings of 1652 (see Beck, H.-U. 1972– 91, vol. 1, p. 329, fig. 18)




  • gallery label: former mount, Keppel Gallery label, printed and inscribed in brown ink: [label proper] From FREDERICK KEPPEL & CO., / Rare Engravings and Etchings / No. 4 East 39th Street, New York. / No. H 7301 [brown ink] Sketch on the Seashore / original drawing by Jan van Goyen / born Leyden 1596 - Died Hague 1666. Bought in 1912. / Pencil drawing / on thin old / paper. / Beautiful / atmospheric / quality.
  • inscription: verso, lower left, black chalk: 17
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: A71193
  • inscription: verso, lower center, graphite: 64
  • inscription: verso, lower right, black chalk: EDCV
  • inscription: Former mount, graphite: Dr. Martin says / fine, undoubted Van Goyen / March 30/21
Provenance
Perhaps F. Adama van Scheltema, sold; [Muller, Amsterdam, 11-14 June 1912, lot 108, repr.]; to [Otto Gutekunst, London.] [Frederick Keppel & Co., New York, 1912] sold; to Meta and Paul J. Sachs, Cambridge, Mass., (L. 2091, without his mark); Bequest of Meta and Paul J. Sachs, 1965.204
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Meta and Paul J. Sachs
Accession Year
1965
Object Number
1965.204
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 507, p. 268, repr. vol. 2, fig. 260

An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, checklist, Unpublished (1954), cat. no. 44, p. 11

Agnes Mongan, Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965] : given and bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1965), cat. no. 25, n.p., repr., and p. 206

Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1965, 1966, p. 31

Hans-Ulrich Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596-1656, Davaco Publishers (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1972 - 1987), vol. 1, cat. no. 289, p. 103, repr., and under fig. 18, p. 329, and vol. 3, cat. no. 289, p. 67

Curtis O. Baer, ed., Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, exh. cat., Vassar College Art Gallery (Poughkeepsie, NY, 1976), cat. no. 24, p. 42, repr. fig. 24

Geneviève Monnier and Bernice Rose, Drawing, Skira/Rizzoli (Geneva, Switzerland/New York, NY, 1979), p. 269, repr. p. 167

Konrad Oberhuber, European Master Drawings of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo, 1979), cat. no. 49, n.p., repr. pl. 49

William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 15; cat. no. 45, pp. 161-163, repr. p. 162; watermark p. 377

Exhibition History

Drawings from the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University (Collected by Paul J. Sachs), Century Club, New York, 05/12/1947 - 09/25/1947

An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/01/1954 - 04/30/1954

Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965] Given and Bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 11/15/1965 - 01/15/1966; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 12/19/1966 - 02/26/1967

Seventeenth Century Dutch Landscape Drawings and Selected Prints from American Collections, Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, 03/28/1976 - 05/07/1976

European Master Drawings of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11/03/1979 - 12/16/1979

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu