Dutch Boats : Rough Sea with Scheveling pinck getting off shore signed 'E.W.Cooke' and dated 1866 (lower right) oil on canvas 61 x 87.7cm. (24 x 34 1/2in.)
Provenance : Ernest Gambart. Snowdon Henry, his sale, Christies 13th. March 1897, lot 83, bought Miller. J. Snowdon Henry, his sale, Christies 27th. May 1899, lot 124, bought McLean. Mitchell, his sale, Christies 26th. April 1935. Phillips, 14th. December 1981, lot 44, bought by the present owner.
Literature : E.W.Cooke, John Munday, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, 1996, no. 65/2 (page 336) and illustrated in colour Plate 64, page 119 where John Munday describes it as 'This spirited scene of fishermen handling their craft in typically rough conditions served Cooke as a subject for several impressive paintings over the years.'
Ernest Gambart was a Belgian-born English art dealer and publisher who dominated the London art world in the middle of the 19th century. He worked with most of the major British and European artists of the mid-Victorian period, including J.M.W. Turner, Sir Edwin Landseer, Sir John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, John Linnell, David Roberts, Frederick Goodall, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, William Powell Frith and Rosa Bonheur.
He was a friend to any of these artists and helped to establish the reputation of some. For example, he brought Rosa Bonheur to England in 1855 with her monumental picture 'The Horse Fair' which he purchased and which she showed to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in a private audience. He worked with some of the finest engravers of the day to reproduce pictures as close to the originals as possible in print form. Among his best selling reproductions were Holman Hunt's 'The Light of the World' and Frith's 'Derby Day'.
By 1849, Gambart expanded into selling original paintings and bronzes and was among the top three dealers in London when art was very much in demand (his competition being Agnews and Colnaghi). He retired a wealthy man in 1870 and passed his business on to his nephew, Leon Lefevre who built it up into the Lefevre Gallery.
We would like to thank John Munday for his help in cataloguing this lot.