Friday, 29 October 2010

Adriaan Johannes van't Hoff

Adriaan Johannes van’t Hoff

Painter, watercolor, grafic and poster artist.

Well known Dutch Arts and Crafts artist. Famous and loved for his travel Posters and drawings and etchings of animals, particularly birds.

Van't Hoff studied in the Academy of Figurative Art in the Hague (Netherlands) and became one of the best loved and famed artists in the beginning of the 20th century. His work strongly influenced by Art Deco and Jugendstil motifs.

The reason I show him here is was a regular visitor, like Jac. Koeman and Gerrit Dijsselhof of the Amsterdam Aquarium. It is a part of Artis Zoo one of the oldest in the world (1836).
In the Netherlands poster art never developped like in England in an individual art form. English Train, Travel, Zoo and Underground posters ofcourse worldfamous and very collectable. This 1920's one (by Lindenberg) a nice exeption. Zoo's in the Netherlands in heavy financial weather these days.

The Artis Aquarium was esthablished in 1882. The Verkade pictures album of 1925 was illustrated by Koeman and written by veterinian Anton.F.J. Portielje (1886-1965) who was the appointed "inspector of all living creatures in Artis Zoo".
These are two of Hoff's Aquarium renderings, made in the Artis Aquarium.

and two examples of his posters.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Jac. J Koeman and the Artis Zoo Aquarium

Jacobus Jan Koeman
(Edam 1889- Bergen 1978)

Landscape and flower painter, watercolor, grafic and ceramic artist, sculptor.

Jac. Koeman attended the Kunstnijverheids (Arts and Craft) school in Amsterdam and worked in Paris and London. He is in the Netherlands most famous because of his wonderful and unforgettable illustrations of many Verkade albums (see posting of September 20th or use the Blogs search options above). Making him a colleague of father and son Jan Voerman.

His paintings, lithographs, pastels and watercolors pictures of tropical fish are unequalled but by maybe one artist in the world: Gerrit Dijsselhof (1866-1924). These artistic renderings and compositions far more capable of catching and transferring the atmosphere then (even modern) photography can ever hope to achieve. When I saw Koemans school of fish as a child there was no way stopping me wanting to create such a wonderful and mystic world for myself. And I did.

Dozens of these little jewels litter the pages of the Aquarium Volume of 1925.

Both artists found inspiration in the beginning of the 20th century world famous Artis Aquarium (Amsterdam Zoo). It is still a wonderful place to be. When ever I visit a city I just have to pay a visit the local Zoo Aquarium.

1930's pastel by P. Zwart, an unknown artist.

Moonfish, 1930's pastel by Alb. Schram an also very obscured artist but with lots of talent.

I cannot resist these terribly out of fashion pastels, I love them every day I see them even more.

Jac J. Koeman will return in postings to come since I plan showing more examples of the wonderful Verkade Album Art (1905-1940), hardly known outside the Netherlands.

Postings on Gerard Dijsselhof (1866-1924) are in preparation and will follow soon.

Please let me know what you think of this and other postings by leaving a comment.

Frans Willem Hartsuijker

Frans Willem (Fred) Hartsuijker

(Amsterdam 1896-Utrecht 1991)

Dutch painter

I told you ! I like Nasturtiums, here is a lovely pastel by artist Fred Hartsuijker. A fleemarket find. Not much is known about the man, not many pictures around. I found just this one below. From an auction catalogue and it's quite nice. The soft (pastel) colors giving it a warm, kind of 1950's retro feel. It's a very Dutch view on the Loosdrechtse Plassen (Lake Loosdrecht) near Utrecht were all Dutch learned how to sail.

Alberta Johanna Meijer Smetz

Alberta Johanna Meijer-Smetz

Dutch flower and stillife painter, illustrator and etcher.

Alberta entered the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam and took drawing and painting lessons. She later married one of her teachers the painter Johannes Meyer (1875-1970).
She painted mainly flowers, and how well she did. This lovely little Nasturtiums in a ginger jar was my first acquaintance with Alberta Smetz collecting pictures and examples of Nasturtiums in paintings and printings in the Arts and Crafts period. She and her husband became members of the Laren art colony. They lived in Blaricum.
As often, once interested I shortly after found these poppies in a blue vase on a local market and recognized the maker. It's a gouache with a beautiful of the period but damaged frame which I patiently repaired.

Alberta illustrated and designed catalogues for florists (bread and butter) and also made the pictures for this 1930�s album-book to be filled with pictures. This time not collected by eating biscuits, like the famous Verkade albums (see posting of sept. 20th) but drinking coffee and tea. Like the Verkade albums it is stacked with great pictures like this nasturtiums I found inside.

A printed copy of a gouache. I love nasturtiums and these are just great. Good enough to award and honour Alberta Smetz with a small posting.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Friedrich Lissmann

Friedrich Lissmann

(Hamburg 1880-Ieper, september 27th 1915)

German painter and woodcut printer

Skimming Ebay I discovered Friedrich Lissmann. In three days 9 of his woodblock prints were offered. All sold. I think they might have belonged to some folio or book. Maybe the 1920 edition on his life and work by Mia Lenz.

By then (1920) his talent was already noticed and his fame esthablished. After his travels to Iceland he came back with many sketches from the birdlife on this sub-arctic island. Which he transferred into some of the most remarkable, delicate and unnoticed woodblock prints I have ever seen.

The happy announcement (by a woodcut print, left) of an exhibition with friends in his native Hamburg in 1910.

Not yet clouded by the dark shadows of WW-I. Friedrich died only 5 years later. Just 35 years old. A totally senseless death, in the stinking, rat and gas infested trenches of Ieper, Belgium. On September 27th 1915.

On that same day many thousands of young, talented and educated, hardworking and dedicated young men, sons and brothers, died. Workmen, painters and poets. Together. As before and every day after. Until November 1918.
million Central Power soldiers (2 million Germans), 6 million Allied soldiers (1 million British) died.

Friedrich's hunting Eagle casting shawows over the hiding grouse almost symbolic to Death, flying over Flanders Trenches. 5 years later.

His entry in "die Algemeine Künstler Lexikon 1920":
Lissman, Friedrich, painter, born Hamburg, October 24th 1880, pupil of Weishaupt and Trübner, working in Hamburg since 1906, made travels to Iceland, painter of animals and arctic birds in particular, died on the Western front September 27th 1915.

Possibly the best book ever written (i.m.h.o) is “Everything quiet on the Western Front”, by Erich Maria Remark (1898-1970) published in 1929. An eyewitniss account and sharp analysis of the madn
ess and arrogance sacrificing a whole generation of young men over a conflict. By a young man who was old aged 18. Thousands of editions, translated in every language. Read it. You'll have to. It will change you.

Friedrich Lissmann was such a very talented artist and a keen observer. He painted, mainly wildlife and was an extraordinary woodcut printer. Also mainly wildlife and birds. His Kingfisher (above) is of the most delicate posture and rendering. Like Aelbrecht Dürers rabbit (1502) or Carel Fabricius gold finch (which it isn't) (1654).

Have you ever seen a wild sea, just in one color, a pale green, against the black silhouetting birds. The suggestion of movement, the rolling and breaking surf with such minimal effort. The cormorants and rock a perfect frame creating astonishing depth and perspective in his composition. Perfection ?

September 27th 1915 the world lost a genius. But nobody realized.

Ieper memorial cemetry (1914-1918)

We are the Dead. Short days ago,

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

the torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

John McCray(Canadian soldier, † 1918)

Ralph (&) Mott, RAM

Digging into the mysterious RAM initials, Charles from England (Modern Printmakers Blog, see the link below), sending me a clue to the maker(s) of the two (pastiche) flower print supplements showed in before last posting.

So, the firm of Ralph and Mott, Studio, advertising and artists agency used their pseudonym name Ralph Mott under the greatest and most memorable (Railway) poster designs from the mid-twentieth century (1930-1960’s).

It would be indeed a sport finding out who were the actual artists employed by or behind this firm.

Reginald Montague Lander (born 1913) was chief designer and studio manager. Probably sometime later because he would have been only 20 when the flower print supplements were issued in 1933. Reginald made poster designs well into the 1960’s.

The Modern Home magazine also very difficult to find any facts about. I found (only) these two 1930 and 1936 covers. It seems from both covers that dress making, sewing and needlework was among the topics.

Maybe some reader one day will add more details to these scarce facts.
Thank you Charles:

Monday, 25 October 2010

N.N. Pirkhoff

N.N. Pirkhoff
Unknown Printmaker

worked 1925-1950 ?

(Please continue reading with my Januari 2011 posting where Viktor Pirkhoffs identity thanks to this article is discovered and shown in 4 posting !)

It took some time for me to notice that these flower woodblock prints, both offered simultaniously (!) but by different sellers, on Ebay (America) are by the same printer Pirkhoff. One is sold the other still on offer. I had never heard his name before nor have I come across any of his prints. Incredible and hard to believe when you see the quality of his prints.

His tulips in a vase might have been inspired by Hugo Noskes print (right).

The flower bouquet resembling stylish Martin Erich Philipp (right). I think this is the first time prints of this artist are seen together.

(Table cloth and curtains alternated)

The third print I found browsing at I think they will have no objection showing it here.

The subject (epiphyllum blooming) choosen by Philipp and Noske too. Maybe some day Pirkhoff's identity who, judging by these 3 prints was a very skillfull printer, will be revealed.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Frits Lucien Ohl

Frits Lucien Ohl
(1904 Indonesia - 1976)

Dutch painter

Showing the print of the fighting roosters by Frances Révész-Ferryman in last posting I cannot withold this painting in oil by his contemporary Frits Ohl. Born and raised in Indonesia Ohl must have witnessed this traditional scene very often.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ginger jars and Flowers, Part II

Autumn is maybe the best time to share with you my fascination for this "genre". In a few postings I'll do my best to show and share some of the pictures of paintings I've collected. In some logical way.

Jan H.W. Wittenberg (1886-1963) - Maria Wilhelmina Wandscheer (1856-1936)
In this Part I'll will show to you (small) paintings in oil of compositions with ginger jars with only the smallest, sometimes minute flower component. The way some wind victims or accidentally broken of flowers are used to create an instant first aid bouquet.

Germ de Jong (1886-1967) - Hobbe Smith (1862-1942)

In part I discussed the possible history and origin of this (I think) very Dutch theme.

Jan Voerman Sr. (1857-1941)

Since the mid 1800's it has become a very loved classic combination and subject to painters to this day.

"Hein" J.S.H. Kever (1854-1922) - Adriaan J. van 't Hoff (1893-1939)

The generations that display flowers in the home in these pots or jars recognizing its classic aesthetic combination, is rapidly dwindling.

L: ? - R: Alberta Joh. Meijer-Smetz(1893-1953)

And if you hate nasturtiums (Kapuziner Kresse) or Violets and Anemones I think I have bored you to death at this point. So for the diehards:

Jos van den Berg (1905 - 1978) - Frans David Oerder (1867-1944)

L: Henk Welther (pseud. 1885-1947) - R: ?

John Smith (?) - Anne S. Fisher 1922 (1873-1942)

These last two examples by a non Dutch painter

Beware ! There is more to come in Part III.