martes, 27 de junio de 2017

DUDA || Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

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Robert Archibald Antonius Joan Graafland (Dutch painter) 1875 - 1940
Suzanna lezende (Suzanna reading), ca. 1936
oil on canvas

After finishing his studies at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam, Jhr. Robert Archibald Antonius Joan (Rob) Graafland returned to his hometown of Maastricht in 1898 to become a ‘nature drawing’ teacher at the new Stadsteekeninstituut. As this education was merely aimed at teaching techniques to young artisans, Graafland decided to found the ‘Sunday School for Decorative Arts’ in 1902. He moved to the banks of the Meuse, Mount Saint Peter or the Jeker valley with his best students on Sunday afternoons and taught them how to paint nature.

Graafland joined the artistic developments in Amsterdam again between 1908 and 1918. He became a member of the Art Society of Laren and the Art Society Saint Lucas, he frequently displayed his work in Amsterdam and he was introduced to Luminism, which was based on Fauvism. His colours were becoming more daring and his brush more powerful and wider. He finally dissociated himself from the influence of his traditionalistic painting education. Even though painting the reality was the only option for Graafland, his own work became more symbolically around 1917. He nevertheless situated themes such as ‘Young Love’ at the banks of the Meuse and at Mount Saint Peter. These locations consequently retained their link to reality.

Graafland suffered from severe depressions from 1919 onwards, which made it practically impossible for him to continue painting. He reached rock bottom in 1934 and after a suicide attempt he needed to be hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital in Vught. After a year of forced hospitalization, Graafland was discharged and settled down in Vught together with his wife. In Vught he was commissioned to paint many works of art by local dignitaries and he painted numerous portraits (of communicants), nudes and dancers. In this work, Graafland’s talent for painting is evident, but the fire of the olden times had already faded away.

Rob Graafland passed away on April 28, 1940.

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