Prof. Van Hier

Gioacchino Hierschel de Minerbi


Title Moonlight
Collection Reading Museum Service
Artist Hierschl-Minerbi, Joachim (Austrian painter b.1834)
Date Earliest possibly about 1880
Date Latest possibly about 1900
Signed yes
Description Known as Van Hier, Hierschl-Minerbi was considered Austrian despite being born in Trieste. He travelled extensively to the Netherlands, France, England and Italy, and enjoyed painting scenes of water, often at night. Though minimal in its detail, this painting shows his skill in capturing the stillness of the sea in moonlight. Only one white brushstroke defines the division between sky and water, and three others contribute to the effect of reflection. While on the right the form of a boat dissolves in the mist, to the left small figures suggest activity around a second vessel, bringing life to the scene.
Current Accession Number REDMG:1951.60.1
Inscription front lr 'Van Hier'
Subject marine
Measurements 92 x 61 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Mrs E. C. H. Powley 1951.

The back of canvas is stamped by its maker, 'Moto ...' mostly illegible.

Mrs E. C. H. Powley, Basildon Park.

Rights Status Reading Museum Service, Reading Burgh Council (all rights reserved)
Author Dr Anne L. Cowe

Fishing Fleet

Sold on ebay 11th March 2008 for £323.13

Joachim van Hier 1834-? Dutch. 19c. Outstanding.

Oil on canvas.

"Fishing fleet at sunset".


This is an outstanding oil painting on canvas clearly signed “Van Hier” in the bottom left corner.  

Although I have been unable to find a great deal of information on the artist he is listed on Artprice for 17 works with a top price of $13,611 being achieved in the early 1990’s. He was a recognised 19c Dutch marine painter, and he also painted landscapes and snow scenes with skaters. Apparently, he was actually born in Trieste in Italy.

The oil painting is in excellent condition. For the sake of form there is a small canvas patch evident on the rear of the picture, and covering a repair of a small pin hole which neither detracts or is particularly evident from the front. I have looked for the repair on the front, and it can be located if searched for just to the right of the peak of the sail of the right-most boat (the one with the sail shaped like the upturned point of a scimitar). Without being aware of the problem, it just looks like colouration of the sky.

From the information given to me when I purchased the item, the painting would date to 1880-1890 or thereabouts. It shows part of a fleet at sea, probably at dusk (it was originally sold to me as at sunrise, but see below). The brushwork and the painting to my mind is superb. I don’t think it would be claiming too much to say that the sunset is almost Turneresque in its quality. The painting may benefit from a slight cleaning, but it is ready to hang, as is.

The size of the canvas panel is 24" *  16".  The painting is framed behind glass, and I believe that this was done by the previous owner as it was originally offered for sale to me unframed. The overall size including the frame is 27" * 19".

Provenance: acquired on Ebay from a reputable dealer. Additionally, during my researches, I believe that I have been able to establish additional provenance as below. This may assist you in your decision:

In 2002 a pair of paintings by Joachim van Hier (also known as Hiersch Minerbi – see also other aliases used by him below) were sold at Christie's in London as:


Lot 216 : Joachim van Hier (b.1834)

The fishing fleet at sunrise; and The fishing fleet at dusk both signed 'Van. Hier' (lower right and lower left respectively) oil on canvas 18 x 26 in. (45.8 x 68 cm.) a pair (2).

Christies 2002

It is my belief that this is the one "at dusk". The size is slightly different from the auction lot, which only gives the size of one painting only. Also, I do not know if such sizes would include the frame or not, and this item appears to have been framed since that time. The signature on this one is the lower left. The thumbnail of the painting for the Christie's auction is very similar to this, but appears to be of the sunrise.

Added to this, I was able to locate a web-site where an owner was seeking more information on a “Van Hier” painting. Please refer: Reference can be made there to some of the information listed above, and a copy of his signature is provided as part of the information. The responses also identified Van Hier as having a number of aliases:

"Joachim Hierschl-Minerbi
Aliases: "van" Hier; Gioacchino Hierschel; Joachim Hierschel; Georges "de" Hierschel de Minerbi; Gioachino Hierschell; Joachim Hierschl; Joachim Van Hier
Professions: Landscape painter "

Other references that may be useful:


Fishing Boats



Sold 6th February 2008 ebay for £203.63

 This is a fine signed watercolour painting on artist's card dating circa 1900 I am advised.   Signed by the artist Van Hier.  The watercolour portrays a beautiful lake scene with figures on the lakeside and with lovers in a boat on the lake.   Age marking to border but the watercolour is in excellent and age commensurate condition. Measures some 18.5" by some 8"  not including the border.   A delightful collectable paintingf which will make a fine display


NB This painting went missing on route to the purchaser who is offering a reward for its recovery. 



Dutch Canal Scene


Snow Scene

(Joachim Hierschl-Minerbi): Original Oil on Canvas, ca. 1880. Signed "Van Hier." There is some light chipping at the top of the canvas, which measures 24" x 36." The frame is 33 1/2" x 45 1/2."

Sold on ebay 23rd December 2007 for $1,500. 



Venice Fog

VENICE. FOG by Austrian J.van Hier ca 1860 oil
a Little masterpiece by Great Austrian painter Joachim "van Hier".
Creation Year: ca 1860 - 1870
Technique: oil (plus probably tempera) painting on paper likely: I haven't detached from framing
Measurements (unframed):  19 х 12 cm   (7,6 by 4.8 inches)
Measurements (framed): 42.2 x 31.5 cm (16.5 by 12.5 inches)
Style/subject: realism/Venice
Inscription: "Van Hier" LR
Condition: see enlargements - excellent
Restoration: not noted
Joachim Hiersch-Minerbi, also known as
Joachim van Hier, Austrian born March 18th 1834 in Triest.
Active 1850 - 1870
Studied in Trieste, Vienna Academy, Venice, Florence, den Haag, Freiburg.
Partticipated in Salons of Paris and Vienna
Museums: Nevers, Roanne, Trieste
(Benezit info)
Hierschl-Minerbi moet meer dan eens in Holland geweest zijn.
Hij studeerde enige tijd aan de akademie in Den Haag. (RKD info)

Alpine Scene



each 59x92cm.; 23¼x36¼in.

a pair, both signed Van Hier and dated 74

oil on canvas

 Auction House record

Clam gatherers on the beach

Artist   Augustus van Hier
Title   Clam gatherers on the beach
Medium   Oil on Paper laid on Canvas
Size   14 x 18 in. / 35.6 x 45.7 cm.
Misc.   Signed
Sale Of   Walker's Fine Art & Estate Auctioneers: Saturday, November 22, 2003
[Lot 218]
Autumn 2003 Fine Art & Antique Auction
Estimate   *
Sold For  





A Promenade on the Northern French Coast

Joachim Hierschl-Minerbi, A promenade on the northern French coast
Artist   Joachim Hierschl-Minerbi
Title   A promenade on the northern French coast
Medium   Oil on Canvas
Size   31.5 x 46.9 in. / 80 x 119 cm.
Misc.   Signed
Sale Of   Sotheby's Colonnade: Wednesday, February 26, 1997
[Lot 113]
19th c. Paintings & Watercolors

In the Grip of Winter

Title In the Grip of Winter
Collection Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Hierschl-Minerbi, Joachim (Austrian, born 1834)
Attributed to Van Hier, August (Dutch artist, active late 19th century)
Date Earliest about 1880
Date Latest about 1900
Signed yes
Description A winter landscape with a frozen river. There is a black, stormy sky, in the distance the dark silhouette of a church and on the horizon, the narrow, gleaming lines of a fiery sunset. There is a central motif of a man and boy engaged in conversation on the ice. On the right of the composition, a line of trees along the river bank diminish in size establishing deep recession in space. Wooden boat moorings emerge from the frozen river. On the left, behind the trees, villagers make their way along a pathway alongside a row of snow covered cottages. The horizon is quite low enabling the artist to make a feature of the angry looking sky. The treatment is free, especially in the foreground where dry streaks of pigment describe the ice.
Current Accession Number FAO 36
Inscription front lr 'Van Mier' or 'Van Hier'?
Subject landscape (winter)
Measurements 122.5 x 81.8 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Unknown.
Notes Dutch artist, August Van Hier (19th/20th century) is the most likely attribution. He painted coastal scenes with fishermen, nocturnal landscapes and one painting called Figures on Country Road in a Snowstorm (sold Phillip's, London, 17 March 1987, lot 63). Another possibility: Joachim van Hier, also known as Joachim Hierschl-Minerbi, born 1834 Trieste (Austrian)?
Rights Status Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth

Art Price Auction records

Auction Record

2024. Hierschl-Minerbi, Joachim ('Van Hier') 1834 Triest Anlandende Küstenfischer vor dem Gewitter. Signiert unten links: Van Hier. Öl auf Leinwand. Doubliert. 61 x 91cm. Rahmen. 2.500,00 DM
(1.278,23 EUR)

Details of move to Paris

Ging 1867 von Wien nach Paris

Lake Scene

Offered on eBay, April 2007

8" x 19" [20cm x 48cm].

Good condition, laid on card.



Fishing Boat

Reproduced by kind permission of Staffan Cederfeld, Kivik, Sweden

Dutch Harbour Scene

A painting offered on ebay in May 2008 but which has a signature that does not appear to be Van Hier's, and a style which also does not look quite right - it makes me think of mass-produced Chinese paintings, though it obviously appears older.


XL-GRAVÜRE mit Buchfalte                                                      aus: 1908

XL-PRINT, book fold,  printed
Grösse Blatt                                                                  ca. 46x23 cm


Rückseitig                                                                   bedruckt


Fishing Boat

Reproduced by kind permission of Staffan Cederfeld, Kivik, Sweden

Rear of Painting

Signature on Painting

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