Many of Van Goyen's pioneering river views of the 1630s employ the diagonal recession, the repoussoir of a boat in the foreground, and the tonal palette found in this large panel of 1647. Here, however, there is a greater emphasis on the sky (compare View of Haarlem and the Haarlemmer Meer of 1646, 71.62), and on a restful balance of horizontal and vertical elements. A similar sense of grandeur was soon to appear in the work of younger landscape painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left, on boat): V Goyen 1647
?private collection, England (in 1792); ?private collection (until 1912; estate sale, Christie's, London, April 26, 1912, no. 102, as "The Castle and Town of Nimeguen," for £1,050 to Pawsey & Payne]; ?[Pawsey & Payne, London, from 1912]; Sir Samuel Hoare, London (until 1934; sale, Sotheby's, London, November 21, 1934, no. 99, as "River Scene with a turreted water castle on the right," for £610 to Collings); [Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, in 1935; sold to Neuman]; Baron Karl Neuman (Charles Neuman de Végvár), Vienna, later Greenwich, Conn. (by 1938–d. 1959; seized in Paris by the Nazis, held at Alt Aussee [1080/2] and at Munich collecting point , returned to France October 30, 1946; restituted); his widow, Mrs. Charles (Edith) Neuman de Végvár, Greenwich (1959–64; life interest, 1964–d. 1984)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Cornelis Apostool. Beauties of the Dutch School, Selected from Interesting Pictures of Admired Landscape Painters. London, 1792–93, ill. in reverse (aquatint).
[Claus Virch]. Paintings in the Collection of Charles and Edith Neuman de Végvár. [New York], , p. 8.
Hans-Ulrich Beck. Jan van Goyen, 1596–1656. Vol. 2, Katalog der Gemälde. Amsterdam, 1973, p. 314, no. 687, ill.
Hans-Ulrich Beck. Jan van Goyen, 1596–1656. Vol. 3, Ergänzungen zum Katalog der Handzeichnungen und Ergänzungen zum Katalog der Gemälde. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 1987, p. 226, no. 687, notes that a very similar composition by Salomon van Ruysdael was sold at auction in 1978.
Olivier Le Bihan. L'Or & l'ombre: catalogue critique et raisonné des peintures hollandaises du dix-septième et du dix-huitième siècles, conservées au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux. Bordeaux, 1990, pp. 122–23, ill., under no. 30.
Peter C. Sutton in Ben Broos. "Recent Patterns of Public and Private Collecting of Dutch Art." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis. The Hague, 1990, p. 105.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 236, 238–39, no. 53, colorpl. 53.
An aquatint by Cornelis Apostool is published in "Beauties of the Dutch School," London, 1792–93 [see Ref.]. An etching by either Lorenz Schöpf or Mathias Heim is in the Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
There is a smaller panel with a similar composition of the same date in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.