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Cornelis Christiaan Dommersen

1842 - 1928

C.C. Dommersen was born in Utrecht in the heart of the Netherlands on 11th November, 1842. His birth certificate showed his name as Dommelhuizen but he most frequently signed his work with the anglicised version 'Dommersen'. His elder brother was the artist Pieter Cornelis Dommersen (1834-1908).

C.C. Dommersen specialized in marine subjects and continued the great tradition of this genre which had originally started in the middle of the 16th Century. Increasingly wealthy as a result of sea trade, fishing and whaling, the Netherlands produced at least one hundred artists who painted seascapes during the 17th Century. This huge output of work was only diminished by the war with England and France in 1672. Even so, Charles II lured the best artists of the period to England and painters such as the Willem van de Veldes enjoyed the immediate patronage of the king and his brother. These Dutch émigré painters were the inspiration of the fine London-based school of English marine painters which emerged during the 18th Century.

During the 19th Century there was a second great surge of sea painting in Northern Europe. Netherlandish painters proliferated, encouraged by patronage and also an increasingly wealthy middle class. The Romantic movement was flourishing and marine artists such as Hermanus Koekkoek and Abraham Hulk were looking back to the great 17th Century masters again, and, like their contemporary landscapists B.C. Koekkoek and Schelfhout, were emulating them but with a new poetic and emotional content. Dommersen, like Hulk and others, travelled extensively, working in America, Belgium, England and France. He was particularly inspired however by the turbulence and calm of the coastal waters of his native Netherlands. As in this fine example of his work, the artist could also produce accurate architectural details and he combines this with a pleasing sense of light and movement which well convey the bustling atmosphere of the thriving port of Boulogne.

Exhibited : Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam

Museums : Amsterdam, The Hague, Middelburg, Utrecht Back to list