Charles Henri Joseph Leickert (1816-1907)
"A Winter Landscape"
Oil on canvas, signed and dated Ch Leickert 68
72 x 98 cm.
This wonderful lively and atmospheric frozen winter landscape is typical of the work of Charles Henri Joseph Leickert, one of the foremost second-generation painters of the nineteenth century Dutch Romantic School. Like his contemporaries, Leickert executed extremely skilful picturesque scenes of everyday life, from landscapes and town views to river and coastal scenes. Leickert was one of the most important students of the leading Dutch Romantic painter Andreas Schelfhout (1787-1870) and like him established great repute as a painter of winter subjects, showing a particular talent for his snow and ice scenes, which as here often included figures on frozen water. Like Schelfhout, Leickert's works were characterised by bright naturalistic colours and loose atmospheric brushwork and while figures played an integral part within the landscape they were generally of secondary importance to atmosphere and light. Leickert also painted exceedingly fine town scenes during the changing seasons and particularly summer scenes bathed in bright sunlight. As a master of painting water he also depicted a number of river landscapes, with various sailing craft as well as coastal views with fishermen and vessels, typically dominated by brightly lit skies with varying cloud formations above.
Although Leickert was born in Brussels, on 22nd September 1816 he worked for most of his career in Holland and thus can be classified among the Dutch Romantic School. From 1841 up until 1848 he worked in The Hague, from 1849-61 in Amsterdam and from there went to Mainz in 1861. The following year he was back in The Hague and then subsequently was based in Amsterdam until 1883 when he worked in Nieuwer-Amstel (now part of Amsterdam), moving later in 1887 to Mainz where he eventually died on 5th December 1907.
In addition to Schelfhout, Leickert studied with Bartholomeus Johannes van Hove (1790-1880) and before his premature death under Wijnandus Johannes Josephus Nuyen (1813-1839), whose styles and instruction greatly influenced his choice of townscapes as one of his favoured genre. He was a regular exhibitor and showed a number of his works in Amsterdam and The Hague between 1841 and 1887 as well as Leeuwarden, 1855-63. From 1848 Leickert was a member of 'Arti et Amicitiae' group in Amsterdam and in 1856 became a member of the Koninklijke Akademie, Amsterdam. While the majority of Leickert's exhibited pieces were oil paintings, he also proved an extremely able watercolourist, etcher and lithographer. Some of his works were painted in collaboration with Joseph Jodocus Moerenhout (1801-75) (who also collaborated with Schelfhout), such as a town scene of 1848 and Charles Rochussen (1824-94), who sometimes painted the figures in his landscapes, for instance a winter landscape of 1849.
Like his contemporaries, Leickert's paintings of their native land found a ready clientele among the Dutch middle classes (whose patronage had previously encouraged artistic innovation among the great seventeenth century Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals). The work of Leickert is represented in many museums notably the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, the Centraal Museum Utrecht, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and the Museum Paul Tetar van Elven in Delft. Other examples from his outstanding oeuvre can be found at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe at Enschede, Museum Bisdom van Vliet at Haastrecht, the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller Otterlo as well as the Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg.