Emmerik copy.jpg

View on the Governor’s Palace in Paramaribo, Surinam

Signed and dated 1856
Oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm


In the centre of the painting is the Governor’s Palace of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam, a late 18th-century wooden classicist building. To the right the late 17th century Fort Zeelandia. On the river, a three-master, a pondo with two rowers, used to transport products from the plantations to Paramaribo, a tent-boat in which plantation owners let themselves be rowed over the river and at the left two moored two-masters. Govert van Emmerik, born in Dordrecht in 1808, was a pupil of P. Hofman and the marine painter P.J.Schotel. In 1852 he moved to Hamburg where he remained till his death in 1892. He regularly visited Holland but is not known to have ever been in Surinam, so this painting must have been made after a print or drawing of the Governor’s Palace in Paramaribo. Between 1852 and 1855 Johan George Otto Stuart von Schmidt auf Altenstadt was Governor in Paramaribo and possibly he commissioned this painting after his return to Holland in 1856.