Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)

Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)

Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (Haarlem 1617 – 1671 Haarlem)

A Village with a Brick Kiln along a Stream

Black chalk, tip of the brush in brown ink, grey wash, partial black chalk and brown ink framing lines, watermark snake wound around a cross-staff above a house,1 160 x 276 mm (6.3 x 10.9 inch)

Inscribed in an 18th-century hand ‘No 31 [illegible paraph]’ (brown ink, verso) (Lugt 4252)

- Private collection, The Netherlands
- Anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 14 November 2006, lot 72
- With dealer Monique Martel, Brussels (inv. I2109)
- Private collection, Belgium


The small oeuvre of Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke was first described by I.Q. van Regteren Altena in 1926.2 Van der Schalcke was sexton (‘koster’) of the church of Saint Bavo in the centre of Haarlem, which dominates many paintings executed throughout the seventeenth century, such as those by Gerrit Berckheyde. The artist was strongly influenced by the revolutionary landscapists active in Haarlem during the first half of the century, most notably Jan van Goyen (1596–1656), Salomon van Ruysdael (1600/03–1670), and Pieter de Molijn (1595–1661). Cornelis’s uncle, Hendrick van der Schalcke, was married to Susanna de Molijn, the artist’s sister, and it is possible that Cornelis studied with his kinsman.

Securely attributed drawings by the artist are rare. A signed landscape dated 1660 is preserved in the Fondation Custodia in Paris.3 Drawings by Van der Schalcke produced during the period 1645–50 tend to be executed in a particularly loose and ‘wild’ manner, characterized as the ‘moved style’ (‘bewogen stijl’) by Carlos van Hasselt. An example of these is the Church behind a Hill, dated 1646, in the Biblioteka Ossolinski, Breslau.4

This beautifully preserved and fresh sheet can probably be dated around 1650–60. The spontaneous washes in the sky are broadly applied and are reminiscent of Schalcke’s earlier looser phase. The artist seems to have drawn from personal observation, as the sheets depicts a brick kiln, identifiable by the characteristic diagonal smoke patterns emanating from the building in the background.5 The sheet is part of a series of drawings by Van der Schalcke, executed in the same technique, of which other sheets appeared on the Amsterdam art market in 1980.6 The early numbering on the versos of the drawings from this series suggests they were originally part of an album of sketches. A landscape from the same series, numbered 27, was sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 (see last fig.).7


1. Associated with the factory of the paper maker Nikolaus Heusler of Basle, Switzerland. See Heawood 3775.

2. For the artist, see I.Q. van Regteren Altena, 'Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke', Oud-Holland 43 (1926), pp. 49-60 and I. van Thiel-Stroman, 'Cornelis Symonsz van der Schalcke‘, in: Painting in Haarlem 1500-1850. The collection of the Frans Hals Museum, Ghent/Haarlem 2006, pp. 298-300, for the artist as a draughtsman, see: H.-U. Beck, Künstler um Jan van Goyen, Maler und Zeichner, Doornspijk 1991, pp. 378-389.

3. Inv. no. 1691; C. van Hasselt, Landschapstekeningen van Hollandse meesters uit de XVIIe eeuw, exh. cat. Brussels/Rotterdam/Paris/Bern 1968–69, cat. no. 142, pl. 55.

4. See Ben Broos and Marijn Schapelhouman, Oude tekeningen in het bezit van het Amsterdams Historisch Museum, waaronder de collectie Fodor. Nederlandse tekenaars geboren tussen 1600 en 1660, Amsterdam/Zwolle 1993, p. 163, fig. a.

5. I am grateful to Drs Charles Dumas for making this observation upon examination of the drawing on 17 September 2014.

6. Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 18 November 1980, lots 52, 68, 69, 85, 89, 102, 128, 134 and 135.

7. Black chalk, grey and brown wash, 174 x 279 mm; Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 14 November 2006, lot 81 (€ 1920).

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Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
Cornelis Symonsz. van der Schalcke (1617–1671)
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