Not that many paintings are known by Pieter Cosijn, as he died at the age of 37. He was a close follower of Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos who, except for a short spell, had been active in The Hague. The composition of our painting is heavily indebted to van der Croos.
Huis ter Nieuburch was a large palace built between The Hague and Delft for the Dutch stadtholder, Prince Frederic Henry. In 1697 it was during half a year the centre of the European political and diplomatic world as peace negotiations were held here between France and its numerous enemies.
About Pieter Cosijn
Rijswijk (S. of The Hague) 1630 – 1667 The Hague
Pupil of Pieter Nason and for a short spell of Peter Willebeeck.
Our Pieter was the son of Jacques Cosijn (or Cousingh), who was a lieutenant and captain in Dutch Brasil. Between 1630 and 1654 the Northern part of Brazil was a Dutch colony: the Dutch had conquered it from the Portuguese, but lost it again to them after merely 24 years, as the merger of Dutch Protestants, Catholic Portuguese country nobility and African slaves did not proof to be a winning combination.
When Jacques Cosijn died at the end of 1635, he left his widow with two sons: Jacques aged 19 and our Pieter of 5. The boys and their money (3000 guilders) were taken care of by the The Hague Orphanage (‘Weeskamer’). Their mother remarried four years later in 1639 with engeneer Jan Elandt.
Pieter went to school near The Hague in Voorburg and circa 1640 to boarding-school in Overschie, near Rotterdam. His mother and step-father saw to it that he received an artistic training in 1647 with the portrait painter Pieter Nason (1612 – 1688/90) at The Hague. In 1648 Cosijn was an apprentice in Antwerp of the still life painter Petrus Willebeeck, but he stayed with him for less than five months. He returned to The Hague and settled there, not as a portrait painter, nor as a still life painter, but as a landscape painter.
In those days minority lasted until 23. But by that age Pieter Cosijn was already married since four years and the couple had three daughters. These early years as a painter were financially difficult: he was not very successful and the orphanage did not let him have his part of his inheretance until he had reached the age of adulthood. In 1655 and in 1657 two more children were born: a boy and a girl. In 1654/55 the young couple lived shortly in Leiden.
In 1658 in The Hague Pieter Cosijn joined the two years earlier created Confrerie Pictura, which grouped the fine painters that had dissociated themselves from the Painter’s Guild, where the so-called decorative painters continued to register.
During the First Stadtholderless Period (1650 – 1672) the Dutch Republic reached its zenith of economic and military power. Sadly Cosijn died at the young age of 37.
About Huis ter Nieuburch
Rijswijk is stuated just South of The Hague, in the direction of Delft.
The Hague takes a particuliar position in Holland. Since the end of the 16th century it has been the centre of the Dutch government: it was the residence of the Stadtholder (and of his court and of foreign diplomats) and of the States of Holland, the highest sovereign power within the Dutch Republic.
Stadtholder Frederic Henry bought in 1630 the estate of Ter Nieuburch. By 1634 the original building was replaced by a large two stories high French Classicist palace with a facade of 100 metres.
It was here that the peace negociations resulting in the Treaty of Rijswijk of 1697 were helt at the end of the Nine Years’ War, which was fought between France and a coalition of European countries. After it had been neglected for years the palace was demolished in 1790.
In our painting at right, in front of the palace, one sees the original entrance gate: that was destroyed before the peace negotiations of 1697 started as a single entrance meant that one party might enter the palace before the other party, which was (of course) unaccesptable. Therefore two new entrances were built.
About our painting
Pieter Cosijn was strongly was strongly influenced by Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos. Both painter’s compositions generally show one or several trees with finely executed foilage, a view of a distant building or a village, two thirds of the surface is occupied by a large sky and in half of the cases there is a partial view of a river.
For our painting in particular Cosijn used the same viewpoint as did van der Croos in several of his views of Huis ter Nieuburch. Only Cosijn’s extemely meticulous and decorative rendering of the foilage of the bushes in the left foreground differentiate his painting from those by van der Croos.
About Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos
Pieter Cosijn was strongly influenced, technically and in the choice of his subjects by the landscape painter Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos (Alkmaar (?) 1606/07 –1662/63 The Hague).
Van der Croos worked for the biggest part of his career in The Hague : from 1632 until 1649 and from 1654 until his death in 1662 or 1663. From 1649 until 1651 he is documented in Alkmaar, where he probably stayed until 1654.
Typical of van der Croos is his love of featherlike foliage, each leaf being rendered individually.
His later works, influenced by Jan van Goyen (who according to some sources was his neighbour in The Hague) show the typical monochrome brownish tonalities of tonal painting. In his last works he evolved towards more greyish tonalities.
Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos influenced several painters besides our Pieter Cosijn: his assistant Jacob Classon and his nephew Jacob van der Croos.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because just a few of Cosijn’s paintings are fully signed and because it shows his typical meticulous representation of the foilage of the bushes.
Because this palace does no longer exist, though it was the seat of very important peace negotiations between diplomats of the French King Louis XIV, Stadtholder and King of England William III and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.