signed and dated 1860 l.r.
oil on panel
Raised in the German duke town of Cleves, close to the Dutch border near Nijmegen, Klombeck received his first painting lessons from his uncle Matthias Tinthof, a Cleve artist specialised in portraits and genre scenes. Most probably Tinthof introduced Klombeck to Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, who settled in Cleves in 1834.
In 1841 Klombeck and his uncle were among the first members of the drawing Academy Koekkoek founded in Cleves that same year. In the years to come, many young artists came to Cleves, wishing to be tutored by the revered master. Klombeck was regarded as the most talented student, and took part in many exhibitions in both Holland and Germany.
Living up to the age of seventy-eight, Klombeck became a leading member of the Romantic School in the nineteenth century. Romantic motifs like prominent trees and ruins, stormy weather and tiny figures fighting against the elements, played an important part in Klombeck's oeuvre. The ruin of the church of Duffelward for instance, was a motif often used by Klombeck in the early 50's, a subject matter also used by B.C. Koekkoek in the same period.
The present lot, dated 1860, was painted at the height of Klombeck's career.
The composition with diagonal elements like tracks and streams disappearing into the background are features strongly influenced by B.C. Koekkoek and borrowed from the Dutch landscapists of the Golden Age. This landscape, with a family on a sandy track near a forest stream, offers an incredible wealth of details, only equalled by Klombeck's famous teacher.
The overwhelming oak trees in this oversized painting, rendered meticulously refined on a flawless panel, make this composition one of the most impressive paintings in Klombeck's oeuvre.
Guido de Werd and Angelika Nollert, Johann Bernard Klombeck 1815-1893. Ein Landschaftsmaler der Klever Romantik, Kleve 1993, cat.no. 60/97, illustrated in colour
FROM THE RADEMAKERS COLLECTION
Collection Dooijes, 's-Graveland
Sale Amsterdam (Mak van Waay), Collection Dooijes, 18-19 February 1974, no. 26