Saturday, 2 November 2013

Pieter Willem Bijvoet

Pieter Willem Bijvoet

obscured and forgotten Dutch graphic artist.  

To be honest: until last week my computer archive contained just one picture of a woodblock print found in the www. by this artist but otherwise I had never heard of him. Until in a local auction this woodblock print of a pair of budgies (Budgerigar, Melopsittacus Undulatus) showed up recently and made me to  investigate the artist. 

Pieter Willem Bijvoet studied in the Royal Academy in Amsterdam but other then some genealogical data and some lithographic drawings and the three woodcut prints shown here, he's left hardly any footsteps in printmakers  history. He was born in Overveen (near Haarlem) and died in Amsterdam.

My first association with his budgie print design was this famous woodcut print (above) from Vienna by Karl Schmidt Rotluff (1884-1976). Because the colors are block printed too, and not colored by hand, it's a charming print although not an Hélène Isenbart (very obscured German printmaker),
an Otto Lange (Germ. 1879-1944) or let alone a Kay Nixon (Br. 1895-1988) Europeans artists who also were inspired by a budgie couple.

Bijvoet's print of the smallest of Herons (Bittern, Ixobrychus Minutes) instead of the easy and more popular choice of a Silver Heron by most of his colleagues and contemporaries is remarkable. Like the choice of ordinary Tradescantia in the Gingerjar instead of far more popular and usual Nasturtiums. The fact he died young and probably had a not very prolific but delicate output of works will have contributed to his being forgotten and hardly known in our times.

I'm convinced  there must be more examples of his work and all additions send by readers will be very welcomed.

All pictures are mouse clickable to embiggen.

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for educational and non-commercial use only. 

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