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Beach Scene
Genre Scene
Still Life
Winter Scene
Jan van Goyen
(1596 – 1656)

“On the beach of Scheveningen”

Oil on canvas
130 x 190 cm
Signed and dated 1642 lower middle
More info


France, private collection

Laren, private collection

London, Art Gallery D. Cevat

London, auction Sotheby’s February 3rd, 1954, lot nr. 60 (with picture)

United Kingdom, collection J.D. Barrett

United Kingdom, collection Earl of Carnavon


Hans-Ulrich Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596 – 1656, Ein Oeuvreverzeichnis,

Part II, cat. Nr. 944, pg. 423.

Jan van Goyen was a  landscape painter from the Dutch Golden Century (17th century).  Painter of rivers, lakes, canals, the dunes and beaches in the surroundings of The Hague and  regularly his subjects were winterlandscapes and sea- and townviews. Van Goyen, son of a shoemaker, was born in Leiden, for several years he studied in Holland, than left for a long trip to France. He returned to  Holland and studied  with Master Esaias van de Velde in Haarlem. In 1632 he moved to the Hague where he became head of  the St. Lucasguild.

In the beginning Van Goyens work was colourful with often an anecdotic  touch. Around 1627-1629 nature becomes important and his colourpalet is more simple. He starts painting in mainly soft brownish tones.

“On the Beach of Scheveningen” is a perfect example of the second period in the oeuvre of Jan van Goyen. This important work gives a fantastic image of the activities on the beaches around Scheveningen (The Hague) in this time. The flatbottomed fishingboats have arrived and are on the shore. The beach is crowded with numerous  people who come for the catch  of the day.

It is obvious Van Goyen enjoyed painting the various different types of people in this composition.  The simple fishingman, the marchants the crowd  who just came here to watch the scene from high up on the dune and the noble family who arrive with horse-carriage and all on the beach!!

Van Goyen shows his skill in this work,  the way he paints the animals, the beach, the different postures  of the figures….  allthough the accent is on the scene on the beach, nature plays an important role in this painting.  The imposing clouded sky and the game of the sunlight on the beach. This new approach of landscape painting gives this work the new power that was invented in the 17th century in Haarlem.

Hundreds of drawings and sketches by Van Goyen are preserved, he often used them as preparation for his paintings.  There are no drawings  known regarding “Aan het Strand van Scheveningen” .  We know that Van Goyen regularly worked on the beaches of Scheveningen. Three more paintings exist  from the same period and  same topografical theme, although those works have a more modest size and are not so richly furnished with daily datails like  “On the beach of Scheveningen”.

The painting “On the beach of Scheveningen” has not been seen in public for a long time. Original it was part of the collection of the Earl of Carnavon, the dynasty of  a British noble family that dates back to the first part of the 17th century. In 1954 the painting was auctionned at Sotheby’s London and came in possession of a Dutch art collector. By inheritance it became part of a private collection in the South of France, where  “On the beach of Scheveningen”  was discovered by art-dealer Peter Pappot, Amsterdam – The Netherlands.

Ever since the auction in London (1954) the work has not been shown to the public, not even at the important oeuvre exhibition about Jan van Goyen in Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal – Leiden 1996  –  1997.