Reader Question: A Mystery Painting from Haren, The Netherlands!

Dear Antiques Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I love your website! I am writing you from Atlanta, Georgia because I saw on your summer calendar that you are going to be at a flea market in Haren, Netherlands in June 2008. I have a mystery painting I am researching and am wondering if you have any information or ideas on my predicament. I bought a lovely painting with a nearly illegible signature. On the back is the artist’s last name, Vogel, and his place of birth, Haren, and the date 1892. I can’t read the first initial (it’s either an H,V,N,Y, J, or possibly P) I wonder if you know any artists whose dates match. It is a very lovely, impressionistic village scene. Thank you so much for any information.

Sacy from Atlanta


Dear Sacy,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I was so hoping I’d be able to tell you that you have the next best thing to a Van Gogh in your possession, but I’m afraid I am not going to be of huge help to you! The information I can pass along is limited. I fear I am an antique shopping expert – not necessarily an expert in antique art! However, they always say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – so the best I can provide is some contact names of industry experts who might be able to answer your question better than I!

Going on the name “Vogel” and the assumption the artist is Dutch, I can tell you that there were 2 well known Dutch artists living during the approximate timeframe of your painting. Both had works that came up for auction in recent years – but neither of them were from Haren! The first artist, Cornelis Jan Vogel, is a long shot as he lived a little before the dates on your painting (1824 -1879) .

The second artist, Johannes Gysbert Vogel II, lived 1828 – 1915. His dates are more aligned with yours, but having not seen your painting I don’t know if stylistically his work is similar to your painting. His work has been up for auction at both Christies & Sotheby’s Amsterdam in the past. His work has also been sold at Glerum Auction House in Amsterdam and it might be worth your time contacting them to see if they could appraise/evaluate your painting long distance from a photograph.

Vogel is a very common Dutch name which translates into “bird” and it’s an even more common German last name! A quick Google search on artists with this last name living in your painting’s time period brought up a massive list of mostly German artists. I couldn’t find any Vogel’s who were artists living in Haren, but this means absolutely nothing! Perhaps the artist wasn’t well known or more likely he was visiting Haren from elsewhere. Haren is in the Groningen Province and is said to be a charming town, off the beaten tourist path. I haven’t been there myself and unfortunately will miss the upcoming Haren flea market listed on my site, but from what I understand it would be the type of town that traveling artists might visit.

My advice would be to either contact Glerum Auction House or ,better yet, why not contact an art & antiques appraiser in Haren . J.R.H. van den Hende has expertise in Dutch art and a focus on art from this region of The Netherlands. He would be a very valuable source. Their website is only in Dutch but as this is Holland where virtually everyone speaks English as if it were their mother tongue, I suspect someone at J.R.H. van den Hende will speak English.

Sorry I wasn’t oodles of help, but let me know how it turns out!

The Antiques Diva™