Gift of a Painting by Hendrik Schepper

When this work appeared on the market a few years ago, the Fondation Custodia was not able to acquire it. Today, thanks to the generosity of Hans van der Ven, benefactor of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and the Mauritshuis (The Hague), the painting entered the Frits Lugt Collection.

Hendrik Schepper (Amsterdam 1741-1794 Amsterdam), View of the Vredeveldt Mansion, 1761
Oil on panel, 43,3 × 51,8 cm
Signed and dated: HK Schepper 1761

It is the only known surviving painting by Hendrik Schepper, about whom biographical details are scarce. Robert Jan te Rijdt has identified Schepper as an Amsterdam native and concludes from his apparently small output that he could not have been a professional artist, despite the particularly high quality of this work.

Presuming that he did not make a living from his art, Schepper seems to have been reasonably prosperous from other means, owning two houses and small plots of land. The detailed depiction of this elegant house, its large windows and elaborate balustrade reflected in the still water, suggests that it was perhaps a commission from the owner, wishing to record his fine establishment. The Vredeveldt mansion was situated on the Beemster polder and appears to have been demolished at the end of the 18th century. Country mansions of this type were popular with Amsterdam merchants who appreciated their combination of gentility and proximity to nature – the gazebo close to the water’s edge being evidence of this desire. The airy sky, crisp detail and golden light bring an element of Venetian atmosphere to this painting.

Gift from Hans van der Ven, The Hague