Windmills on a Canal

Object Details


Windmills on a Canal


Antonie Erkelens (Dutch, 1774 - 1804)




Netherlands (Place created)


1790 to 1800


Watercolor and pen and brown ink


21 × 28.7 cm (8 1/4 × 11 5/16 in.)

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Erkelens applied colored wash to make his depiction of typical Dutch windmills and farmhouses more picturesque. Here the low horizon line and the use of atmospheric perspective capture the seeming endlessness of the Dutch terrain. The layering of colored wash together with the scintillating reflections on the water lend the sheet an exceptional freshness and vibrancy.

Until recently Erkelens's small body of drawings was thought to be the work of an earlier, seventeenth-century artist in Rembrandt's circle. The artist's mistaken identity is testament to the extent to which Dutch eighteenth-century draftsmen imitated their predecessors.



by 1928 - 1936

Henry Oppenheimer, British, 1859 - 1932 [sold, Christie's, London, July 13, 1936, lot 253.]


John Postle Heseltine, English, 1843 - 1929 (London)

by 1994

Private Collection (Belgium) [sold, Ader Tajan sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, October 28, 1994, lot 51.]


Private Collection (France)


Galerie de Bayser S.A., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006.

Drawing Life: The Dutch Visual Tradition (November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010