Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)

Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)

Cornelis Thim (Rotterdam 1754 – 1813 Utrecht)

Vessels in a Breeze before a Coast

Pen and brown ink, grey wash, brown ink framing lines, 108 x 141 mm (4.3 x 5.6 inch)

Signed and dated ‘Korn: Thim fec: 1792’ (pen and brown ink, verso)

Private collection, The Netherlands


Cornelis Thim was the son of a Rotterdam merchant and spent his childhood drawing ships in the harbour of his native city.1 Cornelis (or Kornelis, as he signs himself in the present sheet) initially worked in a workshop decorating furniture and later in a factory that produced painted wall hangings (‘behangsels’) in Utrecht. He was a naval officer from around 1786 to 1797, when he obtained a position at the Ministry of War in The Hague. He re-enlisted in active service and took part in the 1799 campaign in North Holland. After 1800 Thim worked and lived in Haarlem and Utrecht. He produced paintings and drawings mostly of vessels at sea, and in his youth painted a series of oval portraits of members of the Duyvensz family of Enkhuizen, dated 1773.2

Two drawings by Thim, dated 1805, were acquired in that same year by Wybrand Hendriks for the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, where they are still preserved (fig.).3 In contemporary auction catalogues drawings by Thim were frequently offered in pairs, usually of a ‘calm’ and a ‘breeze’; however Leslie Schwartz in her discussion of the Teyler drawings raised the interesting question whether these were actually conceived as pairs by the artist, or rather chosen from the artist’s stock by a client, and thereafter considered a pair.4 Other drawings by Thim are in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg,5 and in the Graphische Sammlung in Frankfurt am Main.6

EUR 450

1. For the artist, see Leslie A. Schwartz, The Dutch Drawings in the Teyler Museum, artists born between 1740 and 1800, Haarlem/Ghent/Doornspijk 2004, p. 441.

2. Collection Seymens, on loan to the Stadhuis Enkhuizen, see R.E.O. Ekkart, ‘De portretten van de familie Duyvensz’, Steevast. Jaaruitgave van de Vereniging Oud Enkhuizen te Enkhuizen (1991), pp. 5-15.

3. Schwartz, op. cit., pp. 441-42, nos. 626-27. The ‘breeze’ is illustrated here.

4. Schwartz, loc. cit.

5. Pen and grey wash, 160 x 237 mm, dated 1802, inv. no. 1963/375-76.

6. Pen and grey wash, 195 x 241 mm, inv. no. 2906-07.

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Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)
Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)
Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)
Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)
Cornelis Thim (1754-1813)
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