Topic: Subject or sitter

Can anyone identify where these two lighthouses on the Dutch coast are or were?

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The title has been adjusted to ‘Dutch Coast Scene: The Old Lighthouse and the Andreaskerk at Katwijk aan Zee’.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Ian Welland,

I suspect the lighthouses are / were down coast from Dortrecht. The artist spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands and his main location is documented as Dortrecht. Hope this helps start further research.

Matthew Imms,

This looks like Katwijk aan Zee on the coast near Leiden, a few miles north-east of Scheveningen. The rather weathered lighthouse stands south-west of the white lighthouse-like tower of the Andreaskerk. This stretch has undergone some development, but the towers can still be seen from the Boulevard: https://www.google.com/maps/@52.1990636,4.3885679,3a,90y,44.16h,92.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxEjSHbgsULzoh9pZRH8-MQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
There is a 1906 W.A. Gibson painting from the other direction (Hunterian, Glasgow): https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/on-the-sands-at-katwijk-138506

Martin Hopkinson,

I should have noticed this as I was a Curator in Liverpool before becoming a curator at the Hunterian

Malcolm Fowles,

The old lighthouse ("vuurtoren" on maps) is now gleaming white, missing its old lantern storey and rather more distant than it seems in the painting. No doubt about the identification however, as the church is unmistakable.

Matthew Imms,

Further to this, assuming the identification is correct, the upper stages of the church tower were apparently taken down in the Second World War, but rebuilt in similar form: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreaskerk_{LPARENTHESES} Katwijk).

The lighthouse, which is roughly 250 metres on the near side of the church, has a long history: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vuurbaak_van_Katwijk_aan_Zee; https://www.katwijksmuseum.nl/nl/vuurbaak-van-katwijk-1605

It is rather less gleaming in an old postcard(?): https://www.lightphotos.net/photos/displayimage.php?album=29&pid=24298. Photographs generally suggest that the painting shows it somewhat slimmer (and/or taller) than in reality, unless today's landscaped base is later.

'Dutch coast scene: the old lighthouse and the Andreaskerk at Katwijk aan Zee' is a potential title adjustment which includes a good range of search terms.

...and I meant to add that since the question has clearly been answered with skilled rapidity by those pitching in, I use the distant appearance of the sea as pretext to make the formal suggestion that the discussion can close once the collection and Art UK agree on a title adjustment - as immediately above or similar.

Osmund Bullock,

Matthew, there is a (very) long-standing and (very) long-complained of software glitch on this forum that causes any link containing something in brackets to fail: it frequently happens with ones to Wikipedia articles. The way round it is to use a free URL-shortener like https://bitly.com (there are others) to make your links. Thus for your first link: https://bit.ly/32Qen1i

Hello. Thank you very much for this interesting information. We will add it to our object files and collection database.

Fine Art Curators, Walker Art Gallery