April 16, 2016

Jan Toorop exhibition at Gemeentemuseum The Hague

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 11:59 pm


Van Gogh, Mondrian and Toorop: Gemeentemuseum in The Hague calls them the three most important Dutch artists of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and if you have only ever heard of the first two, now’s the time to rectify that.

Apart from mentioning his importance, Toorop is difficult to define. Koen Kleijn writes in Groene Amsterdammer that “the diversity of his work was so great, one could barely speak of a consistent artistic path.”

“If you first encountered the exhibition in The Hague, you could well believe that you were looking at the work of five or six different artists.” Toorop’s paintings and drawings ranged from realistic, engaged work to sunny paintings of flowery women in white dresses sipping tea; and from rich and colourful pointillist paintings to grave works full of symbolism. “This description could create the impression that these periods were all flings, fleeting and uncertain, but that’s not true. Toorop was phenomenally talented. Everything he did, he did splendidly.”


The exhibition, curator Gerard van Wezel’s life’s work according to NRC, runs until 29 May.

(Images all crops; via Wikimedia Commons here, here and here)


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February 1, 2016

Do you know your seven sins? Test yourself with Hieronymus Bosch

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 11:32 pm


There was never a better time to get your Bosch on.

The Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch, the town that one of the Netherlands most famous mediaeval painters was named after, has a major exhibit of most of Hieronymus Bosch’ works coming up in less than two weeks.

The Guardian calls it “the impossible”, an exhibition of 20 of Bosch’s 25 surviving panels in a small, local museum. The exhibit will run from 13 February to 8 May 2016.

If you are unable to make it to the museum, the Bosch fever sweeping the country ensures you can engage with the great painter in several other ways. The local newspaper, Brabants Dagblad, has an online quiz that will let you spin the wheel to find out how much you really know about the seven deadly sins. The questions are in Dutch and cover topics as varied as Doutzen Kroes, Roy Donders, frikandels, Mike Tyson, Snow White, civil servants, Louis van Gaal, FIFA, the biggest hamburger in the world, plastic surgery and David Beckham.

The paper has five other games for you, each one based on a different painting by Bosch, which can be reached through the quiz’s main menu.

If Dutch isn’t your forte, broadcaster NTR lets you explore the triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. There are spoken versions of the interactive tour in Dutch, Dutch for children and English. If you just want to admire the painting, Wikimedia Commons has a huge photo of 30,000 × 17,000 pixels (223 megabytes). Should you print that file, you would need a wall of five metres wide and almost three metres high to display it.

(Illustration: screenshot of the Brabants Dagblad game, edited to convey the impression of spinning motion)

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October 15, 2012

2012 winners of the Royal Awards for Modern Painting

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 12:51 pm

Four young painters were presented with the Royal Award for Modern Painting last Friday by Queen Beatrix at the royal palace in Amsterdam: Frank Ammerlaan, Jasper Hagenaar, Keetje Mans and Evi Vingerling (illustration, left to right).

The annual award was instituted in 1871 by King Willem III. It consists of a 6,500 euro prize (after taxes). The exhibition of the nominated paintings will run until November 5.

Trendbeheer went and rubbed shoulders with the winners at the palace. Jeroen Bosch’s conclusion: “The lion’s share is traditional, thoroughbred art, i.e. big, using paint, and depicting something.”

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August 5, 2012

Art by Simon Schrikker and Marie Civikov

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:33 pm

Yesterday the old, today the new.

Last week art blog Trendbeheer showcased a couple of artists I had not seen before (here and here).

Simon Schrikker, 2010

Simon Schrikker was born in Utrecht but currently lives and works in Rotterdam. His work has a certain three-dimensional quality, not in the least because he sometimes puts the paint on thickly, and is not afraid to extend the canvas when the subject calls for it. Check his painting of a shark to see how the thick, sharp paint amplifies the danger emanating from the animal.

Schrikker’s work will be on display at the Drents Museum in Assen from September 15 to January 27.

I just realized, Marie Civikov, 2012

Marie Civikov studied at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam. Bold colours and aggressive imagery make these paintings stand out. Civikov’s work is currently part of an exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam.

Lively art! Check out their websites.

(Photos by the artists.)

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December 12, 2009

Lost Leyster discovered

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 8:31 am

The Frans Hals Museum recently discovered this lost painting by Judith Leyster (1609-1660), the first female Dutch master painter.

The painting depicts a still life of a Chinese vase with flowers. Its Belgian owner, Mrs Luc from Ostend, alerted the museum in August of its existence. Although she was aware art collectors knew about the painting (it is listed in an inventory in Leyster’s husband’s possessions), she was waiting for the right moment to reveal the work, which she originally bought for about 500 euro in the 1970s.

Leyster became a master painter in 1633, the first woman in the West to do so. Her paintings seem inspired by Frans Hals, showing jolly drinkers, musicians and playing children. Both Leyster and Hals had their studios in Haarlem. After Leyster married fellow painter Jan Miense Molenaer in 1636, her output dwindled to a trickle, her last known painting being from 1643 until a few months ago.

The Frans Hals Museum quotes Leyster expert Frima Fox Hofrichter:

Many art historians have often assumed that Judith Leyster gave up painting upon her marriage. With the discovery of the flower still life and its date of 1654, we now have documentation that she continued her career as a painter. It is likely that Leyster moved to still-lives and botanical studies after her marriage, perhaps to split the market with her husband.

The Frans Hals Museum will host a Leyster exhibition from 19 December 2009 till May 9, 2010.

(Link: Parool. Source image: Frans Hals Museum.)

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