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Lot 54: Cornelis Beelt , Rotterdam 1640 - 1702 Haarlem or Rotterdam A view of the beach of Scheveningen, possibly the intended departure of King Charles II for England, 1659 oil on canvas

Est: €1,640 EUR - €1,702 EUR
Sotheby'sMay 07, 2008Amsterdam, Netherlands

Item Overview


signed and dated lower left: K beelt 1659 oil on canvas


measurements note 71 by 96.3 cm.

Artist or Maker


B. Rapp, 'Charles II's Departure for England; two paintings by Cornelis Beelt', The Connoisseur, December 1949, pp. 110-1, reproduced p. 111, fig. 1;
The Connoisseur, August 1974 (advertisement);
H.-U. Beck, Künstler um Jan van Goyen. Maler und Zeichner, Doornspijk 1991, pp. 25-31, reproduced p. 26, fig. 9.


Sale, London, Sotheby's, 19 July 1933, lot 36 (as Dutch School), to Brent;
Art market, Sweden, by 1949 (as by Cornelis Beelt);
Anonymous sale, Zurich, Koller, 22 May 1973, lot 2781;
With Alan Jacobs, London, by 1974;
Sale, London, Sotheby's, 19 March 1975, lot 27;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 15 July 1977, lot 140.


In the 17th Century, beach scenes became an increasingly popular sub-genre in Dutch landscape painting, attracting both landscape and marine painters. Although the beach was treated as a subject in its own right by artists such as Jan Porcellis (1583/5-1632), Hendrick Vroom (1566-1640), and Adam Willaerts (1577-1664), the beach was used more often as a setting for religious scenes and historical events. A particularly popular event was the embarkment of King Charles II in May 1660 from a crowded beach at Scheveningen, to return to England after exile.υ1

Cornelis Beelt, who mainly painted beach scenes, painted several versions of the event, such as the one in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. A2692), and another which was sold, Amsterdam, Christie's, 10 May 2006, lot 66. The present painting, with the Church at Scheveningen situated on the right, vessels on the coastline waiting to depart and an assembly of villagers apparently waiting for something to happen, is dated 1659, and thus couldn't possibly depict the occurrence of the official return of the King for England. The composition, however, is very similar to treatments by Beelt of the actual return of the King. According to Rapp, who is seeking for an explanation for the meagre assemblage of people as well as the date, this picture could represent the King's intended return to England in 1659. In 1659 King Charles had planned to return in secret to support a Rebellion against the Parliamentarians. This Rebellion was discovered before it began and the King's return was cancelled.υ2

The composition and colouring of this painting is very typical for Beelt. Specific motifs like the elegantly dressed horse riders, recur in other beach scenes, such as the one in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (inv. no. 924). In the absence of any concrete reference to the departure of the King, one should bear in mind that this picture, like many other beach scenes by Beelt, is a beach scene in its own right. 1. For further reading on beach scenes in 17th Century Dutch art, see S.E. Giepmans, et. al., Hollandse stranden in de Gouden Eeuw, exhibition catalogue, Leiden 2004.
2. See Rapp under Literature, p. 110.

Auction Details

Old Master Paintings

May 07, 2008, 12:00 PM EST

De Boelelaan 30, Amsterdam, 1083 HJ, NL