Provenance Research

Theobald Michau (1676-1765)
Belgium
Dutch Fishing Village, third quarter of the 18th century
Oil on canvas
41 x 51 in. (104.1 x 129.5 cm)
Gift of Emilie L. Heine in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John Hauck, 1940.950

Description:
Coastal seascape with many small groups of people fishing and boating. In the foreground a boat carrying baskets is docked. Two people stand on the ground and unload a basket of fish. In the center middle ground is a boat with two figures and a sailboat. In the right middle ground a man is on a horse that is drinking from the water. Another horse and a dog are beside them. A large tree dominates the right portion of the canvas. In the far right, a man herds a group of bulls down a road, and a woman looks through an open doorwary of a house. In the center background a church steeple is visible.

Former Attributions:
Thomas Gainsborough [1727-1788] [1]

Alternate Titles:
Boats and Figures like Van Goyen
Landscape in the Dutch Manner

Provenance:

Until April 27, 1895:   James Orrocks, RA, London, sold at Orrocks sale, Christie's, London, April 25-27 (third day), 1895, lot 335, to
     
    Walters [2]
     
Before ca. 1917 [3]:   (Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, London)
     
Before 1940:   (Probably John Levy Galleries, New York, or Schneider-Gabriel Galleries, New York, probably sold to [4])
     
By at least 1940-1949:   Emilie L. Heine, Cincinnati, given with life interest to [5]
     
1949-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum


Notes:
[1] The painting was attributed to Gainsborough when it entered the CAM's collection in 1949. Since then scholars have debated its attribution, suggesting such artists as Thomas Barker of Bath and Norblin de la Gourdaine. John Hayes has given the current attribution of Michau to the painting in his unpublished manuscript for a catalogue of the British paintings in the CAM.

[2] Algernon Graves, Art Sales, Bath: Kingsmead Reprints, 1973, p. 337.

[3] The firm closed sometime ca. 1917.

[4] Albert K. Schneider worked as Emilie L. Heine's dealer for many years. He and Gilbert Gabriel worked with John Levy for approximately twenty-five years before opening their own gallery in 1938. In 1940 Heine gave a collection of paintings to the CAM with life interest reserved. Schneider-Gabriel Galleries was requested by the CAM to send detailed information on the works that Heine acquired through the Schneider-Gabriel Galleries or John Levy Galleries. The provenance information sent by Schneider-Gabriel Galleries does not offer specific dates of sale, nor does it clarify if the paintings were purchased by Heine from them or from John Levy. See: Art Digest, October 1, 1938, p. 11; correspondence, May 25, 1940, and July 5, 1940, Heine collection file; Schneider-Gabriel Galleries booklet, no.12, Heine collection file.

[5] Emilie L. Heine, a collector with a penchant for the Barbizon school, began collecting art around 1912 and continued until the mid-1940s. The majority of the paintings were acquired for her Cincinnati home during the 1920s and 1930s, but specific dates of purchase for most are unknown. Heine gave this painting and numerous others to the CAM with life interest reserved in 1940. The Heine collection came to the CAM after her death in 1949.

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