Copy After Oyster Gatherers
L. van Hooren
Oil on wood
40 x 30 cm
signed: van Hooren,
(in black paint, right-undercorner)
This is an E-mail from Holland.
Let me first compliment you on your
nice, informative Sargent-website. Besides that I like the paintings
of this American artist for several years, I have a special reason to send
you this message. . . .
In October 2000 we went for a short
holiday to Belgium, and bought a nice painting from an unknown (by us)
artist: L. van Hooren.
When we returned home we enjoyed
the painting, but I couldn't find anything about L. van Hooren in any Dutch
or Belgian Art-reference book. But we didn't really care, just looking
at the painting was enough.
Just 10 days ago i watched a television-documentary
about an American lady, who collected impressionist paintings and as I
understood bought the Monet house in Giverny (France), then I heared her
saying something about her owning several 'Sargent studies'. Seeing these
studies for a brief moment, I immediatly recognized our own
L. van Hooren and quikly I wrote
down the word Oyster (pickers?).
for several years, I could easily find a b/w picture of the Boston mfa
[thumbnail] that is somewhat different, but the composition has a striking
similarity with our 'L. van Hooren. I read the book some years ago, and
honestly paid more attention to the colour-illustrations, then to the b/w
introduction-pages, so I needed a television to get me to read again what
I could have known, even before i bought the painting.
The visit to your web-site brought
me another suprise as the 'Corcoran painting' looks (on the jpg) as the
same as our painting. The details get lost if you enlarge the picture,
so real comparison can't be done, but it looks like that one. It was very
nice to be able to dig a little deaper, for your website is in some respects
more detailled than an average book.
Well, Natasha, I've told the story,
what do you think of it? The painting in our house is real, but was it
the real Sargent who painted it, was the unknown L. van Hooren the painter,
or painted by a unknown person with the signature on the painting.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
What I think you have here (and I'm
saying this as my impression only. I obviously welcome anyone else opinion)
is a copy of a Sargent done by the artist L. van Hooren similar in kind
to Sargent's copies of the Great masters before him. For example,
Sargent copied Velazquez's work: King
Philip IV (of Spain), and Head
of Aesop. He also copied Frans
So in other words, L. van Hooren
was possibly a student trying to learn from Sargent, or possibly he was
commissioned to copy Sargent's work for a patron that obviously couldn't
own the original.
See also Copyists
at the Prado
What I'd recommend is continue to
search for the name of your painter and if you can find him (what I believe
you will find is probably a painter later than Sargent) then you will have
After Oyster Gatherers