Lot 23
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Indonesian Art Sale | 8 September 2021
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Isidore van Mens (1890-1985)

'Quartier Chinois Batavia, Java, Temps d'orage' / Batavia Chinatown, Java, thunderstorm

signed, annotated and dated 'Is. van Mens. / Batavia. 1929.' (lower left); name and address of the painter in Brussels (on a handwritten label on the reverse); titled twice 'Maison Chinoises./au bord du canal./ Batavia (Java)' and 'Quartier Chinois-/Batavia/Java/Temps d'orage.'

oil on canvas, 49x53 cm

Exhibited:
-Batavia, Bataviasche Kunstkring 1929.
-Amsterdam, Koloniaal Instituut (Tropenmuseum) 1930.

Provenance:
-Family of the artist.
-Private collection the Netherlands.

The artist Isidore van Mens (1890-1985) himself in Brussels from 1919; between 1923 and 1927, he produced primarily many North African works. As with many other artists at that time, Isidore van Mens was tempted to take a trip for a few years to the Dutch East Indies to pursue his work. In 1928 he joined the advertising company ‘Aneta’ on Java staying for over 6 months in Batavia. He was an illustrator for magazines such as the Java-Bode and Telegraaf. Several favourable reviews have attested to this. In the Dutch speaking area, he was especially known for his many contributions to the 'Groene' (later the 'Groene Amsterdammer’) and his illustrations of Cissy van Marxveldt's books. As a painter, one heard little about him, at least in the Netherlands, but in Brussels and Parisian art circles, he was very well known in that genre and it was extremely rare if one of his works remained unsold at an exhibition. In the almost two years that he spent in the Dutch East Indies (1928-1929), he travelled from there to Egypt, Djibouti, Ceylon, Madras, Pondicherry, Billiton, Banka, Java, Bali, Celebes, the Philippines, and the entire coast of China (Macao, Canton, Shanghai, Tianjin, Peking), until finally reaching the Great Wall.

His look on life in Batavia, particularly the lower town is clearly portrayed on canvas in more than 30 paintings. The northern part of Batavia was called the Lower Town, the southern part the Upper Town. The southern part of Batavia was somewhat higher, hence the name Upper Town.

Many of the Indonesian and other works from the Far East have remained thus far in private ownership. The Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics) in Amsterdam owns a painting by him, 'In de Kampong' from 1928.

The Dutchman Isidore van Mens was a celebrated artist, especially abroad. Many of his works remain in foreign museums and private collections.

Peter van 't Veen

Voor deze kunstenaar is volgrecht van toepassing vanaf een hamerprijs van € 2400.

€ 4.000,00
€ 6.000,00
€ 8.500,00

Hamerprijs: € 8.500

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