Temporary: A Rotterdam master in our museum!

As of January 9th, the painting ‘Veemarkt’ from Cornelis Saftleven (1659) is on display in the Tax & Customs museum. This unique 17th-century painting which shows Rotterdam and is painted by a Rotterdam painter, is in loan from the Rotterdam museum.

The painting shows different scenes at a well-attended cattle market, in the background the ruins of castle van Honingen in former village turned Rotterdam neighborhood, Kralingen. Clothing style and headgear of the merchants show influences from other countries and cultures in a upcoming metropolis, where Saftleven grew up.

Cornelis Saftleven, Veemarkt, 1659 / Collectie Museum Rotterdam
(Foto: Margareta Svensson)

A painting full of stories

As an observer you get drawn into the painting with numerous angles and into the many stories told by the painting. A fiscal story is visible: the scene on the foreground where an excise official, the man in the red coat, measures a cow. Next to his leg a piece of a withers height meter can be seen. During those times this happened to determine the so-called slaughter excise. The owner of the cow, horse or pig had to pay this tax on the value of the animal, the revenue in kilos of meat and fat. To check this, the animal was measured sometimes. This, and many more stories are to be discovered in the painting, until December 2023.

Cornelis Saftleven, Veemarkt, 1659 / Collectie Museum Rotterdam

Museum Rotterdam bought this painting with support of the association Rembrandt (in part because of its Gisbert van Laack fund and a contribution from the Prins fund/Prins Bernhard Fund for Culture), Foundation Friends of the Rotterdam Museum, the G.Ph Verhagen-foundation and the Foundation Droom and Daad.