Thursday, 27 May 2010

Piet Verhaaren

Piet Verhaaren (1906 - 1979)

A framed woodblock print found at an internet market place. A bit damaged, some small tears, but still with strong colors and an intriguing composition. By a maker I had never heard of. I think I just in time saved it from destruction by buying it. Nobody wanted it.
Print numbered 27/30

Initially my researches were a dead end. In 2002 family-members donated (some ?) works to a Museum's graphics-department in Breda (Netherlands).

Piet Verhaaren, the son of a local Dutch blacksmith, had a bad fall on his tailbone in the gym of his Highschool aged 16 (about 1922) leaving him paralysed from the hip downwards. A very sad story.

He trained himself in woodblock/linocutting and it is said he hardly came outdoors and never had an exhibition. To this day nobody ever heard of Piet Verhaaren.

Researching a bit more I discovered this odd composition is build around a so called "most glass", designed in 1928 by the internationally famous Dutch Art Deco (Jugend-stil, Arts and Crafts) glass designer and glassartist A. D. Copier (1901-1991).
The meaning of the word "most" is "new wine" (I had to look it up). The Copier workshop handblew these glasses and many other famous designed glasses and vases in several colors. (A topic about the glass vases of A. D. Copier in preparation and coming soon)

The spined exotic shell is a Lambis Lambis or Spider Conch. A widespread Indo-West Pacific mollusk (seasnail).

I think Piet just grabbed some items at hand composing his woodblock print showing his extraordinairy talent and skills. 70 years later ! What a remarkable man I've discovered.
Two more examples showing he was definitly not just "an other amateur":

(Grote Kerk Breda)

Additions: April 11th 2012

Chrysanthemums, woodblockprint from an edition of 50.

And in the style of Dirk Nijland

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