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Home > Auctions > 29th November 2022 > A. J. Jansen - Framed 'TrSS St George' Oil Painting

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LOT 1758

GBP (£) 150 - 200
EUR (€) 170 - 230
USD ($) 180 - 250

Sold for (Inc. bp): £195


DATED 1922 A.D.
29 1/4 x 21 7/8 in. (2.45 kg, 74.5 x 55.5 cm).

A framed painting by the well-known artist A. J. Jansen, depicting the TrSS St George at sea on a moonlit night; signed bottom right including Rotterdam 1922; oil on canvas. [No Reserve]

By inheritance from the vendor's grandmother.
Property of an Essex lady.

Adrianus Johannes Jansen (1863-1943) was a Dutch ship portraitist, born in Gouda to Catholic parents. His mother died whilst he was young and he moved to Rotterdam with his father and stepmother in 1884, where he started a café on the Nieuwe Maas waterfront. Sometimes referred to as ‘Cafe Jansen’, the building was almost adjacent to the Rotterdam offices of the British Great Eastern Railway Company, whose North Sea ferries docked opposite on the quay. By this point Jansen had already begun his career as a self-taught artist. It would appear that he lived largely as a professional ship-portraitist from about 1903 and may have been active for as long as 50 years. His surviving ship-portraits are widely distributed.
Jansen generally painted in oils, depicting the Great Eastern Railway passenger and cargo steamers and others running to Rotterdam, Antwerp and the Hook of Holland, and selling his work to personnel on board the vessels, or ashore. He typically signed ‘A. J. Jansen’, together with Rotterdam or Antwerp and a date. It is worth noting however that he appears to have been known to his British clients as ‘Harry’. Only one picture signed ‘Harry Jansen’ is so far known, dated 1913: this is of the ‘Titanic’, with an iceberg close behind, now in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The last painting by Jensen (so far identified), dated 1939, is a still-life of fruit and flowers on a table. By this time his age and a dying market for painted ship portraits had probably turned him towards other subjects.
The ship Jansen depicts here, the TrSS St George, was a passenger vessel built by Cammell Laird for the Great Western Railway in 1906, with capacity for 1000 passengers. She was launched on 13th January 1906 by one Mrs David MacIver and later that year started work on the new Fishguard to Waterford service. The ship was sold to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1913 and requisitioned by the Canadian Government as a hospital ship in 1917. In 1919, the CPR sold her to the Great Eastern Railway, where she operated on the service between Harwich and Holland. In 1929 she was scrapped by Hughes-Bolckow Shipbreaking Company in Blyth.