Oil on board by Jan Van Goyen (Dutch, 1596-1656) will be sold at Auction Life's October 16th auction A 17th century oil on board painting by the Dutch landscape artist Jan Van Goyen (1596-1656), with an historical provenance, is the expected headliner at a “Twice is Nice” auction slated for Oct. 16.
News-Antique.com - Oct 03,2016 - BOCA RATON, Fla. – A 17th century oil on board painting by the Dutch landscape artist Jan Van Goyen (1596-1656), with an historical provenance, is the expected headliner at a “Twice is Nice” auction of fine art, jewelry, bronzes, porcelain, jade, sterling, gold, antiques and other objets de vertu, slated for Sunday, October 16th, by Auction Life, starting promptly at 1 pm Eastern time.
The event will be held at the Ramada Boca Raton hotel, located at 701 Northwest 53rd Street in Boca Raton. Just over 300 lots will come up for bid in what will be just the second auction for Auction Life. The firm is based in Palm Beach County, but opts to conduct its sales at an upscale hotel in Boca Raton as a venue. The firm’s debut auction, held there July 24, was a huge success.
The Van Goyen painting, signed lower left and measuring 10 ¾ inches by 18 ½ inches (minus the 20 inch by 29 inch frame), is estimated to bring $40,000-$60,000. It is from the estate of the late Dr. Ladislav Alexander, a legendary hero in pre-World War II Hungary (today Czechoslovakia). About ten works of art from Dr. and Mrs. Alexander are in the auction, to include the Van Goyen.
In the aftermath of World War II, Dr. Alexander took great personal risk when he made available a building on his property, 22 apartments and seven stores, as a refuge for displaced Jews. His wife cared and cooked for them, until they could get on their feet. But when the town (Kosice, Czechoslovakia) was invaded by Communists, Dr. Alexander was arrested and put into prison.
In 1949, his brother was able to bribe an official to gain his unofficial release, and shortly after that he invested in three paintings – one of which was the Van Goyen – to be used later, to sell or trade for provisions. That never happened. Still pursued by authorities, Dr. Alexander sneaked the paintings into Italy, then fled the country with his family by train, making it safely to Venice.
He waited in Italy for two years, while his paperwork allowing entrance into the U.S. was being processed. Finally, he was granted special permission to come to America by then-Senator Jacob Javits of New York, in 1951. Then he was reunited with his belongings in New Jersey, where his sponsor lived. Today, the building in Czechoslovakia is officially called The Alexander Building.
Even without this compelling back-story, the Van Goyen painting would still be the auction’s star lot. Van Goyen was famously influential on the landscape painters of his century and his tonal quality was a feature that many imitated. He was also extremely prolific. About 1,200 paintings and more than 1,000 drawings by him are known. Sadly, Van Goyen was penniless when he died.
Another one of Dr. Alexander’s paintings up for bid is an oil on board by the Hungarian artist Bela Ivanyi-Grunwald (1867-1940), signed and dated and measuring 24 ½ inches by