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Georges Rouault (1871-1958)

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When i mention the names Matisse and Marquet you will probably draw the conclusion that i want to write a blog on Fauvism, But no, these names, together with Manguin and Camoin, belong to the circle of friends around Georges Rouaul. Who certainly was also influenced by them, but distilled from their ideas a style of his own. An expressionist way of painting which was highly influenced by religion. Rouault is one of thsoe artist who believed that his painting was a way of devotion. The Christian faith informed his work in his search for inspiration and marks him out as perhaps the most passionate Christian artist of the 20th century: first of all, in the theme of the passion of Christ. The face of Jesus and the cries of the women at the feet of the cross are symbols of the pain of the world, which for Rouault was relieved by belief in resurrection. Perhaps this is the reason why i do not like his work that much. It is not that i oppose to religion in art ( i like the way Muilwijk and Mulders use religion in their art) but his paintings are dark and troublesome and hardly positive. In many cases you can feel and experience the pain. That is perhaps the reason why these paintings still have a quality of their own, but for me personally they are “diificult” and dark paintings and not the ones i will search for in a museum. http://www.ftn-books.com has some Rouault titles available.

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Jean Brusselmans (1884-1953)

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Art Historians have a hard time with Jean Brusselmans. Among them they can not decided wether he is a Fauvist, a Realist or an Impressionist. When you look at his work the first thing that comes in mind is that color and touche are Impressionistic, but look closer and you can distinguish bright Fauve colors which makes the composition a Fauvistic painting.

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Perhaps it is best to see that his work is original and that you can recognize it as Jean Brusselmans. Forget the art historians and their division into Art Mouvements. Just look at his work and see that it is Jean Brusselmans.

3 catalogues are available on Brusselmans at www.ftn-books.com of which two are designed by Wim Crouwel

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Jan Sluyters (1911 and 1912)

Because i wrote yesterday a blog on Kirchner and studied for a short while the several paintings he executed between 1910 and 1920 and noticed some similarities between the paintings Jan Sluyters made in this period and the ones Kirchner made, I will now share these 2 paintings that i found .  They are executed only 1 year apart from eachother.

The approach by Sluyters to his models is almost the same . The portraits are from the hips up, breasts bare and both wearing a flowered scarf and because of the strong colors they are 100% fauvism. I like both artists, but if ever i had to chose between both , i would certainly chose for Kirchner. His approach to his subjects and his painting is far more modern than Sluyters ever did. But unfortunately i will never have a choice except the museum i shall visit next time to see a Kirchner or a Sluyters. The Sluyters is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe and belonged to the former collection of Nic Jonk. The Kirchner is one of the highlights in the collection of the Museum Ludwig. So make your personal choice and visit one of these two and let me know which one you prefer.

Books on Sluyters and Kirchner are available at www.ftn-books.com

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