Set of four antique Orientalist oil paintings with horses, 1879

By van Wijk, Henri (Dutch, 1833-c.1889)


By the Dutch artist van Wijk, this superb set of paintings provides four vignettes of Orientalist landscapes, filled with horses, sheep, and figures.


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These four landscape paintings are a highly collectable set, that exemplify the superb quality of Orientalist paintings emerging from Europe at the end of the 19th century.

Each landscape scene is inhabited by several figures and animals. In the first, the two Arab men and their animals rest, whilst their horse can be seen drinking from a trough. The second depicts a group of Arab riders on a grassy plain, while the third shows another group of riders herding livestock. In the final painting, a lone shepherd herds his pack of sheep and goats towards a river. In each vignette, there is an unposed feel, with the figures and animals unaware of the viewer’s presence, lending impressive naturalism to the scene. The rendering of the figures and their animals is particularly fine, with the artist skilfully rendering the smaller details such as the coats of the animals and the brightly coloured clothing of the figures.

Each scene is set on a grassy plain, with hills or mountains in the distance. In some, the spires of mosques can be seen in the far background, further situating the viewer in this abstracted Orientalist landscape. Particularly impressive are the wide skies, which each take up around half of the picture plane. All but one of the scenes are set against bright blue skies dotted with fluffy clouds, whilst the fourth provides an interesting contrast with its expansive, fully clouded sky. Two of the scenes feature bodies of water in the lower foreground, expertly painted to appear reflective.

Each painting is ensconced in an elegant wooden frame, and is signed in the lower left corner ‘Van Wyk’. Born in Amsterdam, Henri Van Wijk (1833-c.1889) was a Dutch painter, known for his genre scenes and Orientalist landscapes. One painting is dated ‘1879’.  

Expertly capturing the tranquil atmosphere of the Arab countryside, these four paintings would make a fantastic addition to any collection of Orientalist antiques.

Canvas: Height 35cm, width 65cm
Largest frame: Height 41cm, width 71cm, depth 4cm
Smallest frame: Height 39.5cm, width 69.5cm, depth 4cm


Artist / Maker
By van Wijk, Henri (Dutch, 1833-c.1889)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Equestrian / Horses, Orientalist
Oil on Canvas, Wood


41 cm / 16.1 inches
71 cm / 28 inches
4 cm / 1.6 inches


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