Lines and Colors art blog

Charles Leickert

Charles Leickert
Charles Henri Joseph Leickert was a painter who would have been well suited to painting scenes of the freezing weather we’re currently experiencing in much of the United States.

Leickert was a Belgian born painter who lived and worked most of his life in the Netherlands. He specialized in winter landscapes, often with a “street scene” kind of view down a frozen river, lake or canal (image above with detail, larger version here). Most of his frozen river or lake paintings portrayed bustling activity, in which the citizenry would be out skating, ice fishing, pushing sleds filled with goods, and otherwise utilizing the frozen surface as a street.

He romanticized his scenes, frequently with towering dark clouds or brilliant dramatic lighting. He reveled in the eye candy of architectural details and the textures of brick, tile and stone.

He did balance out his oeuvre with images of summer, painting similar river or street scenes teeming with warm weather activity, and framing them with similarly dramatic skies filled with billowing clouds.

Leickert moved the Hague at a young age, and studied there under several Dutch landscape painters, including Andreas Schelfhout, who had a similar speciality in winter scenes, which had proved to be more popular than his other subjects.

The 19th Century Dutch art market seemed to have an appetite for winter scenes in which life appeared to go blithely on in spite of the cold.

Get the skates out.


8 responses to “Charles Leickert”

  1. I’m from Belgium.
    Is that painting a scene from the past?
    Just look at the picture with this belgian news item of last week.
    (and if you watch the video, notice the old mill)

  2. Thanks, Erik. That’s great.

    Reminds me that if we go back to the paintings of Pieter Bruegel, we see the same thing in the 16th Century.

  3. yes indeed. We don’t have snow that often as in the 16th century, but if it’s there, you can see ‘Bruegeliaanse landschappen’ (Breugelian landscapes) all over flanders and holland.

  4. In fact, the world ‘Breugeliaans’ is quite commonly used here to describe landscapes that look as if time stood still for centuries.

  5. DeSegnac Avatar

    On Leickert’s “A Town View with Figures by a Market Street Stall” there is a black round blotch , just above the church’s spire. Can anyone tell what it is!?

    Thanks in advance

    1. I don’t know for certain, but my best guess is that the canvas has suffered damage in that spot. Judging from Lieckert’s other work, I can’t imagine that it is an intentional part of the painting.

  6. DeSegnac Avatar

    Many a thank for your speedy reply Mr. Parker.

    I, also, thought that it may have been some kind of blemish imposed onto the canvass, but a higher resolution shows it as (maybe !!!???) being, for some obscure reason, deliberate. If indeed placed there by Leickert then it is more than odd. A description of the painting does not say anything about the “blemish” and a hand made copy offered for sale is also “adored” with it.

    Any suggestion for further investigating this odd appearance?

    Regards – DeSegnac

    P.S. Sorry for the length of this correspondence. I hope that it is not so bothersome.

    1. My pleasure; sorry I couldn’t be more definitive.

      Unfortunately, the painting is listed as being in a private collection, so that obviates the thought of looking to the source of a public collection. The fact that images are in circulation, however, indicates that it may have been loaned to a museum or public institution for an exhibit at some point, or that it may have been in circulation through an auction house.

      Try searching past lots at high-end Auction houses like Christies, Sothebys, Bonhams, etc. You can also look for auction records through sites like ArtNet and AskArt, but they expect you to pay for membership for all but the most superficial information. Another possible source of information is mentions of the work in books or other publications, like museum exhibit catalogs or monographs on Leickert and his work (older ones may be accessible online through Google Books, Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive or other digital libraries).