For fifty years, our company has devoted itself to the trade in old master maritime art with an exquisite selection of paintings, drawings and prints by seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century masters up to Impressionism. The specialism includes mainly Dutch and Flemish paintings, drawings and prints from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries with shipping and cartography as subjects. Gallery Rob Kattenburg is approached by private collectors and museums when it comes to purchasing maritime art. Due to the extensive knowledge and interest in our maritime history, Rob Kattenburg has been a source of enquiry for museum curators, major collectors and collectors for decades and occupies a unique place in the international art trade. For several years now, Rob Kattenburg has been collaborating with Saskia, his daughter, who is a talented writer and art historian.
The ever-changing collection includes paintings, drawings and prints by great masters such as Willem van de Velde and Ludolf Backhuysen alongside often surprisingly beautiful works by maritime artists who worked in the shadow of celebrities and yet developed their own style. These smaller masters can approach the big names in quality and maritime-historical importance. The interesting thing about the latter group is that they are often extremely reasonable priced. Maritime prints are also a standard part of our collection, in addition to a modest selection of ship’s antiques and cartography.
Starting in 1978 Rob Kattenburg took part in the legendary Delft Art and Antiques Fair, followed by TEFAF in Maastricht and PAN, the Dutch art and antiques fair in Amsterdam. Gallery Rob Kattenburg also took part in fairs and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.
In the previous period, we have been able to realise approx. 20 sales to the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam and many important museums at home and abroad including the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the National Gallery in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, etc.
Gallery Rob Kattenburg decided to stop participating in fairs such as the Pan Amsterdam and Tefaf in Maastricht. Even though there were no fairs in 2021 either, 2021 turned out to be the best year ever for us. In 2021, we successfully sold two important marine paintings and a drawing, by Willem van de Velde the Younger and an exceptionally fine panel painted by Cornelis Verbeeck.
From 2021, we have been able to devote much more time to purchasing and therefore it is still possible to make discoveries and there is time to do research. We no longer buy standard stock but concentrate only on a few key acquisitions. There is, at the present, also more time to advise collectors on building up their collections and guide any acquisitions of a maritime work of art.