Thursday, February 3, 2011

PAINTER OF THE DUTCH LANDSCAPE






Villagers On A Frozen Path
From allpaintings.org



A Dutch town in winter
From allpaintings.org



Skaters in a frozen winter landscape
From allpaintings.org


Landscapes and cityscapes were a very popular art form in the Netherlands during the nineteenth century. After the end of the French occupation in 1815, a new sense of pride emerged in all things Dutch. In the fine art, many artists rejected the more classical French landscape, aiming instead for Dutch landscape with rivers and windmills and looked back to the ‘Golden Age’ of the seventeenth century for inspiration.
Charles Henri Joseph Leickert (Sep 22, 1816, Brussels - Dec 5, 1907, Mainz) worked during this period and became known for his landscape and cityscape paintings. “He painted the cluttered banks of the Amstel River, a picturesque embankment near a ferry to the city of Dordrecht, and ice scenes with Dutch windmills and skaters. Charles Henri Joseph Leickert nevertheless succeeded in evoking a highly Romantic mood by drenching some of his paintings in an almost supernatural light and, by his sublime rendering of the evening sun.”
(Harry J. Kraaij, Charles Leickert 1816-1907: Painter of the Dutch Landscape, Schiedam, The Netherlands: Scriptum Signature, c. 1996)
Orphan Leickert first learned painting in The Hague under the supervision of landscape painters Bartholomeus van Hove, Wijnand Nuijen en Andreas Schelfhout among many others. Leickert specialised in winter scenes, sometimes romanticising the sky in pale blues and bright pinks. Almost all his works he painted in the Netherlands, from 1841-1848 in The Hague and from 1849-1883 in Amsterdam.
(en.wikipedia.org)



Winter Scene with Skaters
From artmight.com



A Winter landscape with skaters on a frozen waterway
From allpaintings.org



Skaters on a frozen lake by the ruins of a castle
From allpaintings.org



Loading a horse drawn cart on the ice
From artmight.com



A river landscape with figures
From artmight.com



Winter and summer canal scenes scene
From artmight.com


During the Amsterdam years, Leickert continued to produce conventional compositions that usually followed a set procedure. His winter scenes were mostly done on the diagonal, with one or more windmills, to either the left or right. In addition, Leickert made several versions of a painting, in which he changed minor details in the composition or in the figures. He “usually made sketches after nature and drew on his personal “archive” of drawings. He then dressed up his landscapes with figures repeatedly in his winter and summer scenes, without any changes. We encounter various figures again and again in his winter scenes, without any changes, as if he applied his staffage with a template. Examples of this are a man with an ice-sledge and, in his cityscapes and summer scenes, a woman carrying a basket on her head” - Kraaij. Unlike other contemporary artists, Leickert did not introduce new elements in his work that proclaimed the Industrial Revolution, but preferred to paint “picturesque cities and timeless, unspoilt landscapes,” which evoked “a mood of nostalgic Romanticism. “ - Kraaij.
It was that attraction to pure landscape that prompted Leickert to travel to Germany in 1859 and visit the Rhine Valley, Rudesheim, and Mainz where he met Apollonia Schneider and married her that same year. Leickert was forty-three years old and she was seven years younger. They spent about eight months in Germany before returning to the Netherlands. After residing for a year in The Hague, the couple moved to Amsterdam, where Leickert continued to enjoy success. However, with the establishment of The Hague School, Leickert’s work became less popular and the demand for it decreased substantially. At that time, his work was considered old fashioned and critics pointed out to the “lack of passion and the refined technique of painters like Shlefhout and Leickert, which stood in sharp contrast to the rough and often deliberately unfinished work by The Hague School and the Amsterdam painters” - Kraaij.
(rehs.com)



Figures in a Dutch town by a frozen canal
From allpaintings.org



A Dutch street scene
From allpaintings.org


In 1887, Leickert decided to end his artistic career, and moved to Mainz in Germany with his wife. While he remained a member of the Arti society, he submitted only one painting entitled Landscape in Taunus in the exhibition of 1893. Among the few works that he produced during the last twenty years of his life were Winter Landscape with Frozen Canal and Skaters (1891) and Summer Scene in a Dutch City (1892). He was a prolific artist producing approximately seven hundred paintings, of which he exhibited about eight-five. His works can be seen in a number of museums including: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Teylers Museum, Haarlem, (the Netherlands); Landesmuseum, Mainz (Germany); Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia); and Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Odessa (Ukraine).
(rehs.com)
With the current re-assessment of the Dutch Romantic Landscape School, Charles Leickert is emerging as a much more important figure than he was rated by Marius at the turn of the century. The fact that he lived to almost ninety (died on December 5, 1907) explains his prolific oeuvre and the variations in style and quality among his pictures. He can be a traditional landscapist in the manner of his master Shelfhout … or he can paint sparkling effects of light with quick impressionistic brush strokes-an altogether more modern manner. At his best he is something of a Dutch version of Constable, a high point in a century exceptionally well supplied with landscape artists.
(Gerarda Hermina Marius, translated from the Dutch by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos; edited by Geraldine Norman, Dutch Painters of the 19th Century, Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1973)


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