Saturday, 19 June 2010

J. Pzn Franken

Joannes Petrus Josephus Franken Pzn.
(1896 the Haque - 1977 the Haque)

Dutch painter, etcher, book-illustrator, woodblockprinter

Man of many talents

 Papersize 55 x 46 cm, printsize 49 x 40 cm. A big print.

Added june 2013: This print is definitely NOT created by J.Pz. Franken !
Any suggestions by readers to the artist (there are some white-line characteristics) are welcomed.
It is probably Dutch, maybe German, in origin. 

I try limitting myself collecting woodblock and linocut flowerpieces but often I stumble upon these unforgettable impressions. I find them irresistable. And when the price is right, the flesh is weak. It's Dutch fishermen-tradition at its best. Almost symbolic, very international and recognizable in every fishing community around the globe.
At first it reminded me of a whiteline print. But Provincetown art in the Lowlands ? Staring at the signature I puzzled: "8 15 J.. Fr....en v ss s". The last word not a signature but the title. Probably "Vissers" (Fishermen). I just love these puzzles. It took me 15 well spend minutes to find a fitting candidate with Google.

J. Pzn. Franken was educated in the Royal (Dutch) Academy of Figurative Art in his native the Haque. He became a well respected artist, his works are in Museums and private collection and there is even a privately limited (200) edition book on his woodblock print art.
A fine sketcher and drawer as you can see in this "view on Veere" (Zeeland) from 1936.

And a fine portrait artist.

A gifted painter.

At Christies these wonderfull soft colored "Pink and purple carnations"and "Hortensias" (oils on paper) were auctioned and changed ownership some years ago.

Likewise did this this very Art Deco "Veiled Nude".

And how contrasting in style with the delicate veiled nude is to find this painting titled: "Lebedame". The German language so very obliging. In French: "la demi-mondaine". Or elegant hooker.

And woodblock-printer.

Examples of J. Pzn. Franken's woodcarving and printing skills. Notice all the action that is going on in this village view. The axman in the tree, the people on the ground and the ships in the canal. The spectacular perspective and Notan forcing and leading the eye to move around the scene in a big swirl.

And book-illustrator.

"Old Harbour" (unsigned but impression JFPz lower left)

and historical portraits

A man of many Talents

(an if it hadn't been for the Fishermen, J. Pzn. Francken probably never to come to my attention )


  1. Excellent information about this artist, thank you R.C-N

  2. Thank you and you're welcome R.C-N, who ever you are, gerrie