Gerardine Jacoba van de Sande Bakhuyzen | Bloemstilleven | Kunsthandel Bies

Sande Bakhuyzen, G.J. van de | A still life with flowers

Gerardine Jacoba van de Sande Bakhuyzen

1826 – The Hague – 1895


A still life with flowers

Watercolour  22.5 x 32.5 cm

Signed lower left


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Born in the early 19th century, Gerardine van de Sande Bakhuyzen is not known for her flamboyant appearance. The life of the painter, who remained unmarried, could best be described as quiet and rather inconspicuous.

Van de Sande Bakhuyzens personality and her influence on painting however contradict this. She belongs to the very best of still life painters and was a pioneer in her day. Women in the 19th century wanting to become socially active didn’t have it easy as it was, and women wanting to earn their living from painting even less so. Yet Van de Sande Bakhuyzen knew her own qualities and their value. At the height of her fame she demanded – and received – high prices for her paintings. She negotiated with her clients independently and without any male intervention, which was very unusual at that time.

Artistically, Van de Sande Bakhuyzen was also a trendsetter. In her early years as a painter, she initially followed the classical standards for luxurious still lifes stemming from the 17th and 18th centuries. In the first half of the 19th century, opulent compositions with flowers arranged neatly in vases were generally accepted. But from the late 1850s Van de Sande Bakhuyzen broke-away from that painting style and as such, was one of the first. She chose natural compositions in which flowers, plants or fruits were seemingly nonchalantly and loosely placed on grass or a forest floor.

The 19th century art critics paid little attention to female painters compared to their male counterparts. In certain cases, they were considered as little more than the wives of famous painters, much like Sientje Mesdag-van Houten and Marie Bilders-van Bosse. Yet Gerardine van de Sande Bakhuyzen was a painter who gradually commanded great respect from the male art critics with the high quality and innovative character of her work. She more than surpassed her brother Julius, who himself was a rather well known Hague School painter. And nowadays her reputation even reaches further than that of her father, Hendrik, who was one of the most famous cattle painters of his time.

Next to the fact that Gerardine van de Sande Bakhuyzen gave still lifes a new face, a clear development is obvious in her own painting as well. She gradually moved from fine brush strokes to broader and looser touches and, as such, her latter style has similarities with the Hague School. The light in her earlier work was often already wonderful, but in the course of time, it became even more subtle and refined. Remarkably, there are few known studies and sketches by Gerardine, in contrast to her father and brother. She most probably painted her still lifes directly onto the canvas or panel from the late 1860s, early 1870s, indicating a great proficiency and virtuosity.

 

Additional Information

Materiaal/Material

Watercolour / Pastel / Gouache

Stroming/Movement

Impressionism, Romantic School

Onderwerp/Subject

Still life

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