Frits Thaulow (Norwegian, 1847-1906) Small town near La Panne, Belgium, ca. 1905

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Lot 35
Frits Thaulow
(Norwegian, 1847-1906)
Small town near La Panne, Belgium, ca. 1905

Sold for £ 21,600 (US$ 26,223) inc. premium
Frits Thaulow (Norwegian, 1847-1906)
Small town near La Panne, Belgium, ca. 1905
signed 'Frits Thaulow' (lower right)
oil on canvas
64 x 76.5cm (25 3/16 x 30 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty;
    Sotheby's, London, 4th December 1968, lot 149;
    with Old Master Galleries, London;
    private collection.

    In the summer of 1905 Frits Thaulow spent some time with his family at La Panne, a small bathing resort on the Flemish coast. He had acquired a small automobile (one of the first of its kind on the market), and it appears that he went on trips in it to small Belgian towns in the area.

    There are three versions of this painting, and on the stretcher of one of the others (sold at Sotheby’s, London, 27th June 2007, No. 402) there is the inscription «La Panne le 1er Août 1905». The third version was sold at a local auction in the U.S.A. in 2007.

    The current version has an interesting provenance, as it was sold at Sotheby’s, London, on December 4, 1968, No. 149 as a «Stream flowing through a Village», The Property of the late Sir A. Chester Beatty (sold by order of the Executors) with a black and white reproduction in the catalogue.

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968) could have bought the work himself from Thaulow’s dealers in Paris. A Canadian mining millionaire (called the «King of Copper»), he moved back to Europe becoming naturalised British in 1933. Beatty bequeathed part of his collection to the Irish nation in 1956. This extraordinary collection contains approximately 22,000 manuscripts, rare books, miniature paintings, and objects from Western, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern cultures. In addition he donated his collection of Egyption papyri to the British Museum.

    The present lot is typical of the late paintings by Thaulow. It depicts small townhouses by a river, a bridge in the distance with people and green vegetation nearby. It is apparently a composition based on real observation, as was his habit. In the three versions the bridges are all different and the layout of the buildings on the left is also varied. This type of composition seems to have been developed by the artist during his stay at the small town of Quimperlé in Brittany in 1901 and also at Oudenaarde in Belgium in 1901-02.

    The current work is slightly larger than the other two versions.

    We are extremely grateful to Mr Vidar Poulsson, who has confirmed the authenticity of the present lot from photographs and for his assistance in cataloguing this work.
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