During his studies, the painter Jan Bogaerts came into contact with Antoon van Welie, a lecturer at the Art Academy in Den Bosch. Under his influence, Bogaerts painted figures, portraits, landscapes, parks, gardens and castle grounds in a symbolistical manner. From 1899, he studied at the Art Academy in Antwerp. Although Bogaerts painted many portraits under assignment during those years, from the 1920s he focused more on still lifes.
Bogaerts’ still lifes are painted very true-to-life. There is always something serene about them, partly due to the temperate and subtle use of colour. However, the mystical atmosphere that is so characteristic of his landscapes and gardens is lacking. Compared to the work of contemporaries, the still lifes of Jan Bogaerts occupy a special position. Whereas Bogaerts purely focused on realism, his contemporaries mainly worked in a luministic, abstract, (cubist) expressionistic or magical-realist style. In addition, Bogaerts was a master in the representation of textures and materials – from fragile glass, durable earthenware, reflecting tin, scrubbed wood, soft tomatoes to hard egg shells, he accurately depicted everything. In this way, Jan Bogaerts showed that he mastered all aspects of painting.
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