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 Cornelis Springer  (1817 - 1891)

About: Cornelis Springer


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Lived/Active: Netherlands      Known for: townscape paintings, buildings, figure, human activity

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BIOGRAPHY for Cornelis Springer
1817 (Amsterdam)
1891 (Hilversum)


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townscape paintings, buildings, figure, human activity

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Biography from Christie's Amsterdam:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Cornelis Springer is considered to be one of the most important and influential architectural painters of the 19th century.  Born into an Amsterdam family of building contractors and architects, it is clear why he became the townscape painter par excellence.  He studied under the auspices of the well-known and celebrated architectural painter Kasparus Karsen (1810-1896).  In the two years that Springer was his apprentice, he would learn how to create capriccio city views intertwined with topographically correct elements.

It was the contemporary trend for painters in his circles to idealize the past and especially the Dutch national heritage.  However, from the 1850s onwards, Springer moved towards a more realistic subject matter.  He chose to abandon the fantasy elements within his work and concentrated on existing topographical locations.

Springer most often depicted his hometown Amsterdam, but also several other Dutch towns, such as Haarlem, Enkhuizen, Zwolle, Kampen and Monnickendam.  Around 1859, Springer had acclaimed such fame, that he only worked on commission for private collectors and art dealers.  A patron would choose a composition on the basis of his drawings, after which Springer would paint a version in oil.  A waiting list of two years in this period was testimony to the great popularity of his work.

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