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View on the gate to the Zuiderkerkhof seen from the Sint Anthoniesbreestraat

Amsterdam, 1788

Artist: Isaac Ouwater (1750-1793)

Date: 1788

Material: oil on canvas, 41.2 x 48.9

Signed and dated: ‘I OUWATER 1788’

Provenance:  W.J.R Dreesmann, Amsterdam, auction:  Frederik Muller & Cie Amsterdam 22-25.03.1960, lot: 529, sold for FL.21.500, to Lodewijk Houthakker.


Isaac Ouwater was born in Amsterdam, the city where he also passed away in 1793. The Dutch painter was specialized in cityscapes. He worked in Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Haarlem, Den Haag and Delft. Ouwater would make sketches of the cities outside. He used the sketches as preliminary studies for his paintings, which he made in his studio.

Ouwater worked in the style of the 17th century painters Jan van der Heyden and Gerrit Berckheyde. Characteristic for Ouwater’s work is the presence of an abundance of sunlight. His paintings are always very detailed and topographically accurate as well. Another recurring element in his work is the presence of people, going about their daily lives, bringing a liveliness to the paintings.

We can find all these components in the present painting, depicting the gate to the Zuiderkerkhof seen from the Sint Anthoniesbreestraat. On the left side we can see a porcelain store, this store, belonging to I. Metz, actually existed and went bankrupt in 1794. Next to the gate we see a man sitting in front of a small building smoking a pipe. The sign above him states that he engraves glass and watches. Some other figures depicted in the painting include: a woman selling vegetables, a man selling coffee, a Turkish man wearing a turban, women with children and running dogs.

The neighborhood depicted in the painting is connected to the Stodel firm. The area around the Zuiderkerk, and especially the Nieuwe Hoogstraat, was the epicenter of art and antique dealers until ca. 1930, when the Rokin and the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat took over this position. In 1898 Jacob Stodel and his familliy moved next to the Zuiderkerk on the Zanddwarsstraat 9 and later to the Nieuwe Hoogstraat 15.



H. Brugmans, D.C. Roëll, Verzameling W.J. R. Dreesmann, Amsterdam: 1942-1951, vol. 1, p. 12.

With special thanks to Maarten Hell, who is working on a publication on the Vlooienburg neighborhood in Amsterdam.



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