Lot 296
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Spring Auction: European Fine Art 2019
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Albert Roelofs (1877-1920)

Tjieke in the artist's studio taking a rest from posing

signed 'Albert Roelofs' (upper right)

watercolour and gouache on paper, 70x50,5 cm

Provenance:
-Auction, Christie's, Amsterdam, 26 October 2004, lot 218.
-With Kunsthandel Ivo Bouwman, The Hague, where acquired by the family of the present owner.

As the son of the famous The Hague School painter Willem Roelofs (1822–1897), Albert Roelofs came in contact with art at an early age. He received his first drawing lessons from his father, and creativity was highly valued in the Roelofs household. Until the age of ten, Albert grew up in Schaerbeek near Brussels. In 1887, the family moved to The Hague, where Albert would go on to attend the art academy at the age of sixteen. During his four years of studying there, he met the woman of his life, Tjieke Bleckmann (1877–1976). She herself was born into an artistic family: her father was Willem Bleckmann (1853–1942), a painter of Indonesian landscapes and villages scenes.

After his time at the academy in The Hague, Albert continued studying in Brussels, where he befriended several important figures in Belgian nineteenth-century art, such as Victor Gilsoul (1867–1939) and Constantin Meunier (1831–1905). It was his Flemish mother who had first introduced him to Belgian traditions, art, and taste, but the visits of David Oyens (1842–1902) to his father’s studio in Brussels also influenced Albert Roelofs’ artistic style. Paintings of bourgeois women in lavishly decorated interiors were very popular in Belgium at the time, and this popularity is reflected in Albert Roelofs’ work. In this regard, the work of the leading Belgian painter Alfred Stevens must have had an influence on Albert’s oeuvre. His style and subjects were therefore appreciated more in Belgium and France than in the Netherlands, especially in the beginning of his career.

Around 1910, Albert Roelofs was finally established as a successful painter in the Netherlands. By that time his work was widely appreciated, and the number of students who wanted to work in his studio was growing. One of these students was Queen Wilhelmina (1880–1962). Later on, her daughter, Princess Juliana (1909–2004), received painting lessons from his wife Tjieke. Even though Roelofs had finally made a name for himself, he wanted to broaden his view and went on to live in Paris between 1911 and 1912 in a cheap apartment near the Jardin du Luxembourg.

This artwork is typical for Albert Roelofs’ innovative character and his drive to constantly improve his artistic abilities. His approach to impressionistic salon interiors and his ambition to become a leading artist resulted in a number of high-quality paintings – especially very attractive watercolour paintings, a medium in which Roelofs excelled. The present lot shows his talent of combining a dynamic use of colour and a subdued subject, namely his wife taking a rest from posing in his studio at the Joan Maetsuyckerstraat in The Hague (Bezuidenhout). His wife Tjieke was probably his biggest source of inspiration and remained his muse until his sudden passing in 1920 at the age of 43. Because of his early death the oeuvre Albert Roelofs left behind is limited, but of a very high quality.

€ 25.000,00
€ 35.000,00
€ 29.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 29.000

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