Aert van der Neer
Amsterdam 1603 -1677
Oil on panel 23,5 x 32,5 cm.
Christie’s London, January 14/15, 1881, no.185 as van Goyen
Private collection Switzerland
From a photograph, Dr. Wolfgang Schulz confirmed the attribution to van der Neer in a fax, dated 15-10-2012
According to Houbraken, van der Neer lived in Gorinchem as a steward of the lords of Arkel, which would account for the absence of any pictures dating of his early years. He became an amateur painter possibly upon contact with the Amsterdam painters Rafael and Joachim Camphuysen, whose sister Lysbeth he married in 1629. They had six children. Five of them were baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, not far from where he lived. Their son Eglon later became a portrait painter himself. Van der Neer was barely able to support his family by selling his landscapes. In 1659 it seemed necessary to supplement his income by keeping a wine tavern in the Kalverstraat.
Van der Neer’s favourite subjects were the rivers and watercourses of his native country either at sunset or after dark, small night scenes lit only by moonlight. Daylight icescapes with golfers, sleighers and fishermen are as numerous as his moonlights. But he always avoids the impression of frostiness, which is one of his great gifts. Paintings by his hand are to be found in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Hermitage, St.Petersburg, the National Gallery and Wallace collection in London.