Verbeeck, Cornelis
Dutch, 1590/1591 - 1637
Verbeecq, Cornelis , Verbeeck, Cornelius
 

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Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Cornelis Verbeeck,” NGA Online Editions, http://purl.org/nga/collection/constituent/15072 (accessed November 23, 2014).

 

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Biography

Originally from Amsterdam, Cornelis Verbeeck spent the majority of his life in and around the city of Haarlem. The earliest documentation pertaining to Verbeeck appears in a statement the artist gave to a Haarlem notary on April 2, 1609, in regard to his involvement in a tavern brawl. The statement provides his place of residence as just outside of the city walls and his age as eighteen.[1] In December of the same year, Verbeeck married Haarlem native Anna Pieters.[2]  The couple had two daughters, Elgen, born on October 20, 1613, and Janneke, born on April 7, 1619.[3]

In 1628 Haarlem chronicler Samuel Ampzing described Verbeeck as “very fine and exquisite in ship painting.”[4] The artist had, however, already been active for many years in Haarlem, where he first appeared in the records of the Saint Luke’s Guild in 1610, and again in 1634 as a master painter.[5] Verbeeck’s name also frequently appears in the archives in Haarlem, mostly in connection with tavern brawls. Only two weeks after his marriage, Verbeeck inflicted a “simple flesh wound under the diaphragm, or midriff” on a bleacher named Pieter Bossu.[6] The Bossu matter continued in the courts until 1611, with another incident occurring on May 8, 1610, when Verbeeck threatened Bossu with a knife.[7] On October 31, 1612, Verbeeck was sentenced on two charges for inflicting serious injuries, stab wounds, and lacerations on the brothers Huybert and Jan Huybertsz.[8] And again, in 1628, the artist was banished from a tavern with a warning not to “offend, injure or molest” the proprietor.[9]

Despite his many run-ins with the law, Verbeeck enjoyed success as a painter in Haarlem. He primarily created small-scale scenes of naval battles, ships floundering off rocky coasts, and beach scenes, as well as a few large-scale paintings of historical events.[10] Although there is no evidence that Verbeeck studied with the Haarlem marine painter Hendrick Cornelis Vroom (Dutch, c. 1563–1640), he was clearly influenced by him, especially in his treatment of choppy waves with white, hairlike spray and deep troughs. Verbeeck’s later paintings move away from Vroom’s influence and include more complex compositions and a naturalistic rendering of waves. Verbeeck’s seascapes fetched some of the highest prices among that genre and his paintings appear in multiple inventories of middle- and upper-class patrons in Haarlem.  


[1] Laurens Johannes Bol, Die holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Braunschweig, 1973), 47. There was another Cornelis Verbeeck living in Haarlem at the time who was the father of the horse painter Pieter Verbeeck. See also A. Bredius Archive, Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), The Hague.

[2] Laurens Johannes Bol, Die holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Braunschweig, 1973), 47. The Haarlem marriage register lists Verbeeck as “a bachelor from Amsterdam.”

[3] Laurens Johannes Bol, Die holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Braunschweig, 1973), 48.

[4] Samuel Ampzing, Beschryvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland (Haarlem, 1628), 372.

[5] Adriaan van der Willigen, Les artistes de Harlem; notices historiques avec un précis sur la Gilde de St Luc (Haarlem and The Hague, 1870), 20; Hessel Miedema, De archiefbescheiden van het St. Lukasgilde te Haarlem: 1497–1798, 2 vols. (Alphen aan den Rijn, 1980), 2:419.

[6] Jeroen Giltaij and Jan Kelch, Praise of Ships and the Sea (Rotterdam, 1996), 137. See note 3 in Giltaij and Kelch, which cites the A. Bredius Archive, Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), The Hague: “Een aantal Chirurgyns moeten de wond onderzoeken. Het is een simpele vleyswonde onder de diaphragma ofte middelriff.” 

[7] Jeroen Giltaij and Jan Kelch, Praise of Ships and the Sea (Rotterdam, 1996), 137.

[8] Jeroen Giltaij and Jan Kelch, Praise of Ships and the Sea (Rotterdam, 1996), 137.

[9] Laurens Johannes Bol, Die holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Braunschweig, 1973), 48; Jeroen Giltaij and Jan Kelch, Praise of Ships and the Sea (Rotterdam, 1996), 137.  

[10] One of these paintings, Cornelis Houghtman’s Fleet Setting Sail for the East Indies, 1623, Cheltenham Art Gallery, is his only dated work. Verbeeck signed his paintings in various ways, including: “CVB,” usually located on a ship’s flag; “Kornelio,” which Giltaij (Jeroen Giltaij and Jan Kelch, Praise of Ships and the Sea [Rotterdam, 1996], 138) suggests is the Italian version of the artist’s name; “Cornelis VB H,” the H presumably standing for Haarlem; and “CVB H.”

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.

April 24, 2014

Bibliography

1628
Ampzing, Samuel. Beschrijvinge ende lof der stad Haerlem in Holland. Haarlem, 1628: 372.
1648
Schrevelius, Theodorus. Harlemias, ofte, De eerst stichtinghe der stad Haarlem. Reprinted in 1754. Haarlem, 1648: 445.
1753
Houbraken, Arnold. De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen. 3 vols. in 1. The Hague, 1753 (Reprint: Amsterdam, 1976): 2:123.
1870
Willigen, Adriaan van der. Les Artistes de Harlem: Notices historiques avec un précis sur la Gilde de St. Luc. Revised and enlarged ed. Haarlem and The Hague, 1870: 20.
1895
Rooses, Max. "Een veiling van schilderijen in 1616." Oud Holland 13 (1895): 178.
1907
Ref Number: XXXIV.224 (born Ha T.-B.XXXIV.224 (born Haarlem 1590 - died Haarlem 1631/1635)
1973
Bol, Laurens J. Die holländische Marinemalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Braunschweig, 1973: 45-48.
1974
Preston, Colonel Rupert. Seventeenth-Century Marine Painters of the Netherlands. Leigh-on-Sea, 1974: 15.
1979
Dutch and Flemish 16th and 17th Century Paintings from the Shipley Collection. Exh cat. 6 venues, organized by Alan Jacobs Gallery, London, 1979-1980. London, 1979 (cat. compiled by Christopher Wright).
1980
Miedema, Hessel. De Archiefbescheiden van het St. Lukasgilde te Haarlem: 1497-1798. 2 vols. Alphen aan den Rijn, 1980: 2:419.
1990
Keyes, George S. Mirror of Empire: Dutch Marine Art of the Seventeenth Century. Exh. cat. Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990-1991. Cambridge, England, 1990: 422.

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