Thursday, 3 November 2011

Jean Jacques Midderigh: S.S. Aramis

Jean Jacques Midderigh
(Paris 7-7-1877- 14-7-1970 Wassenaar)
Dutch grafic artist. 
Algiers: steamer, harbour and buildings.
The reason for sharing this printmaker on the Blog is because I happened to find these two great posters through his wife Johanna Bernardina Midderigh-Bokhorst (Soerabaja 1880- 1972 Wassenaar). They lived, met and married in Indonesia at the beginning of the XXth century. Their daughter was born there and she married into a family of Dutch-Indonesian descent. 
S.S. Aramis, probably at Saigon Harbour
Somewhere in time the couple, or family, moved to the Netherlands. She became a well know decorator and illustrator of children's books, designer of lithographic school plates and children's room decorations. Clever, skilled and artistically very much "of the period". And very much in demand. They are kind of iconic. I'll show you in a next posting.
S.S. Aramis: Ships plan
But these two tall (41 x 121 cm) ship posters are the real reason for this posting. They take you back in time, into the world of Travel, the far East, Oceanliners and far away Orient and Indo-Chine harbours. Bygone times.
There's also a story to the beautiful ship in the second print above: S.S. Aramis.
S.S. Aramis 
The good and elegant ship ARAMIS, named after one of the 3 musketeers in the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas (before you ask: Athos and Porthos the others, friends of D'Artagnan) was build and launched in France in 1931 for Messageries Maritimes Marseille-far East service. It had twin company sisters, the George Philippar (left) and the Felix Roussell (Right)

The George Philippar served a ships life time and was eventually scrapped in 1974 but sister Felix Roussell sank after a fire on her maiden voyage in 1932.

Aramis later was used as an Allied merchant cruiser 1939-1942 and then seized by the Japanese in april 1942 at Saigon and renamed Teia Maru. The Japanese used her as a troops and hospital ship. It was torpedoed and sunk by a US submarine on august 18th 1944. 
S.S. Aramis
Pictures of ships of this type do take one back to other times, expectations and clearly a complete and different world from our 2011.  
 Aramis renamed Teia Maru
That's why I wanted to show these pictures. Jean Jacques Midderigh did some more of these horizontal prints in the same 1:3 ratio (40 x 120 cm), historical scenes, but imho never as strong a this pair that I excavated and borrowed freely from the www. I don't think he made more ships prints other than this pair. 
Aramis in her days of glory. 


  1. Your attention to historical detail delights me.

    1. Thank you Karen, for stopping by, every comment and compliment is very much appreciated.