View of the Prins Hendrikkade and the Kromme Waal in Amsterdam, 1874

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

  • Oil on Canvas, 50 x 68 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam*

Monet painted the end of the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam, then called the Kamperhoofd, from a boat on the IJ. To the left is the Kromme Waal, with the Waalseilandsgracht where boats could moor. Monet used small dabs of paint to represent the rippling water, in which the sky, the quay and the boats are reflected. The houses on the Kromme Waal form a grey skyline in the background. Monet depicted the buildings on the Kamperhoofd in greater detail.

However, this rapidly painted scene is not a realistic rendering of the location but an impression of light and atmosphere characteristic of the impressionist movement. Monet worked with loose brushstrokes and light colours, whose effect is mainly evident at a distance.

*Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, acquired with the financial support of the BankGiro Lottery, the Stichting Nationaal Fonds Kunstbezit (with contributions from Philips Electronics, Shell, Unilever, ABN AMRO, ING, Fortis and Heineken), the Rembrandt Association, and the assistance of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and a donation from VNU, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Mondrian Foundation, the VSB Fonds and the Vincent van Gogh Foundation.

More information about "View of the Prins Hendrikkade and the Kromme Waal in Amsterdam"

Souvenirs

Monet painted this study during his second visit to the Netherlands. He probably stayed in the Dutch capital for a few months in early 1874. The artist produced all his Amsterdam studies in the vicinity of the IJ. It is interesting that the places which Monet depicted correspond almost exactly with those on contemporary ‘souvenir cards’: etchings, lithographs or photos of well-known locations such as the Groenburgwal with the Zuiderkerk, the Oude Schans with the Montelbaanstoren and the Binnen-Amstel with the Munt. It is feasible that economic considerations, as well as artistic motives, played a role in Monet’s choice of subject.

Tourist

During the 19th century interest in the Netherlands was particularly evident in France. Many French artists travelled to the land of the old masters in the period 1840-1890. Contemporary travel guides clearly indicate the attractions: visitors were drawn both to the museums where 17th-century paintings could be seen, and to the windmills, bulb fields and picturesque villages such as Broek in Waterland and Zaandam. Around 1879 Amsterdam also became a popular tourist destination.

In this respect Monet was an exemplary tourist: in 1871 he visited Zaandam where he painted such subjects as the windmills; in Amsterdam in 1874 he recorded more than 12 impressions; during his final visit in 1886 he enthusiastically tackled the bulb fields around Leiden.

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