As part of their International Series, The Art Gallery of NSW’s outstanding exhibition, “Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age”, from the famous Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, encompasses some of the greatest and most influential artists and artworks from this significant movement in the history of art. Artists sensitively observed the beauty of the visible world, transforming it, with great skill, into vivid and compelling paintings. Their subjects ranged from intense portraits and dramatic seascapes to tranquil scenes of domestic life and careful studies of fruit and flowers. These works are priceless and I highly recommend checking out this unprecedented exhibition!
In celebration of the “Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age” exhibition, I’d like to take a look at some of the Dutch artworks from the Belle Epoque collection, all available for purchase:
REMBRANDT VAN RIJN (1606 - 1669)
Rembrandt is arguably Holland’s greatest, influential and most recognizable painters. A Master of the Dutch Golden Age, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of fine art. Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.
“Windmill” (1641) is an early heliograph printed directly from an original, first state etching in the mid 19th century. It represents the peak of Rembrandt’s artistic powers as a master etcher, and is the closest opportunity to owning an original Rembrandt etching.
ADRIAEN VAN OSTADE (1610 - 1685)
Van Ostade was a Dutch Golden Age genre painter, who was best known for his depictions of 18th century domestic and social life in Holland. His paintings of tavern scenes and peasant workers and farmers adorn the walls of most major galleries and institutions worldwide, particularly in his native country.
“The Violinist” (1673) is an early 19th century copy from the original paintings, which hangs in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. It depicts a tavern scene with all the themes synonymous with Dutch social life; music, alcohol, and the joys of socializing. I have seen the original in Holland, and this is definitely a great attempt at capturing the vibe and playful nature of this significant work. It is painted on wood panel, with original wax seals and auction stamps, and a wonderful hardwood frame, accurate of Dutch paintings of the period.
ANTONY LODEWYCK VINTCENT (1812 – 1842)
Very little is known about Vintcent, except that he was a skilled painter and illustrator, reminiscent of Frenchman Honore Daumier, and was active in the early 19th century. He lived for a period in the South of France before dying tragically at a very young age.
“Young Savoyard and his Monkey” (1837) is a very rare pencil and wash, in fantastic condition, of a young Frenchman posing with his pet monkey. This is a stunning portrait, and is one of my favourite from the Belle Epoque collection.
SIMON VAN DEN BERG (1812 – 1891)
Van Den Berg was a well respected Dutch painter, printmaker and museum director. He is best known for his incredibly realistic pastoral and landscape scenes. He studied for two and a half years in the studio of Pieter Gerardus van Os in The Hague, where he became especially skilled at depicting animals. He worked throughout Holland, and achieved considerable fame, and was made a member of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam.
“Cattle – Early Morning” (c.1870) is a gorgeous pastoral scene of cows feeding in a field. The unusual positioning of the painting in relation to the cows is an intriguing choice, and offers a different perspective of the traditional pastoral scene. It is in remarkable condition for it’s age!
JOHANNES EMBROSIUS VAN DE WETERING DE ROOY (1877 - 1972)
Johannes Wetering De Rooy was a prominent and prolific 19th century Dutch landscape painter. His works were defined by their Impressionist style, and thematically embraced traditional Dutch pastoral landscapes.
"Noord Hollandsch Landschap (Enkhuizen)" (c.1900) is a wonderful, large work with all the hallmarks of the traditional Dutch Impressionist painting: livestock, country homestead, mirky skies, bare trees and reflections. An impressive, historical work, encapsulating the best aspects of historical Dutch landscape painting.
A.E. HERRMANN (XIX – XX)
Herrmann was one of the many early 20th century Dutch painters who sought fame and inspiration by travelling to Indonesia to paint local people and landscapes. Like his contemporaries Rudolf Bonnet, Willem Hofker & Willem Dooijewaard, Herrmann painted stunning, realistic portrayals of culturally significant subjects, but in a western style.
“Bali Girl” (c.1920) is a beautifully intimate portrait of a young, local Balinese girl, a study for an oil painting he produced later. Herrmann has captured her in traditional clothing with a completely relaxed and natural demeanor, evoking the relaxed and peaceful nature of the local Balinese people. Framed in a traditional, hand-carved Indonesian frame.
HAN VAN MEEGEREN (1889 - 1947)
Han van Meegeren was a Dutch painter and portraitist and is considered to be one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century. Despite his life of crime, Van Meegeren became a national hero after World War II when it was revealed that he had sold forged art to Hermann Göring during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands. During World War II, wealthy Dutchmen wanted to prevent a sellout of Dutch art to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and they avidly bought van Meegeren's forgeries, thinking them the work of the masters. Following the war, the forgery was discovered in Göring's possession, and Van Meegeren was arrested on 29 May 1945 as a collaborator, as officials believed that he had sold real Dutch cultural property to the Nazis. He was convicted on falsification and fraud charges on 12 November 1947, after a brief but highly publicized trial, and was sentenced to a modest punishment of one year in prison.
Van Meegeren was so famous, his own original works we widely forged. “Boys Blowing Bubbles”, available from our gallery, is an original Van Meegeren painting, rather than one of his more famous forgeries.
ABRAHAM (BRAM) VAN DEN BOOGAART (1921 - 2012)
Although generally regarded as a Belgian painter, Bram Bogart was a famous, and influential Dutch-born abstract painter from Delft. He is associated with the COBRA group, a collective of avant-garde artists experimenting in organic expression and abstraction. His work is commonplace amongst national collections in galleries worldwide.
“Country Town, Holland” (1947) is a colourful, large work Bogart painted early in his career, before he found fame in abstraction. It is thought that this work could be of his home town of Delft, and one can see his early influence of another famous Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh. This is one of our most valuable works at Belle Epoque.
AART VAN EWIJK (1912 - 1992)
Van Ewijk was a Dutch illustrator, painter and textile artist. Primarily a book and comic illustrator, he was educated at the Academy Of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, finding fame working on several well known books and comics in Holland from the 1940s. He emigrated to Australia in 1951, continuing to exhibit his own paintings (he was a finalist in the Sulman Prize in 1958) and illustrating books and magazines until his death.
“Spires” (c.1960) is a precise, geometric composition, inspired by Orphism, or Orphic Cubism, a movement championed by the likes of Robert & Sonia Delaunay, Frantisek Kupka and Giacomo Balla, where there is strong focus on colour and geometric shapes.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the Dutch art in the Belle Epoque collection, and check out the Art Gallery of NSW exhibition, "Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age", it is well worth it!! L.