Windmills on a Canal

Object Details


Windmills on a Canal


Antonie Erkelens (Dutch, 1774 - 1804)




Netherlands (Place Created)


about 1790–1800


Watercolor and pen and brown ink

Object Number:



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.


John Postle Heseltine, English, 1843 - 1929 (London), probably sold to Colnaghi, 1912.

1912- by 1928

Probably P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London, probably sold to Henry Oppenheimer.

by 1928 - 1936

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


Ernst Goldschmidt, Belgian, 1887 - 1954

by 1994

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


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

Exhibition of Old Masters in Aid of the National Art-Collections Fund (1911)
  • Grafton Gallery (London), 1911
Exhibition of Dutch Art, 1450 - 1900 (January 4 to March 9, 1929)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 4 to March 9, 1929
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

A Catalogue of an Exhibition of Old Masters in Aid of the National Art-Collections Fund, exh. cat. (London: Grafton Galleries, with Philip Lee Warner, 1911), p. 101, no. 116, as Anthonie van Borssom.

Old Master Drawings: A Quarterly Magazine for Students and Collectors 3 (June 1928-March 1929), p. 48, pl. 42, as Anthonie van Borssom, entry by K.T. Parker.

Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. “Einige Betrachtungen über die Ausstellung Holländischer Kunst in London.” Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 50 (1929), p. 144, no. 668.

Commemorative Catalogue of the Exhibition of Dutch Art Held in the Galleries of the Royal Academy, Burlington House, London, January-March 1929 (London: Humphrey Milford, with Oxford University Press, 1930), p. 223, no. 668, as Anthonie van Borssom.

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Catalogue of the Famous Collection of Old Master Drawings Formed by the Late Henry Oppenheimer, Esq., F.S.A […]. July 10-14, 1936, p. 124, lot 253b, as Jan Hulswit.

Ader Tajan, Paris. Collection de Dessins Anciens réalisée par un amateur belge dans les années 30. October 28, 1994, unpaginated, lot 51, ill.