George Hendrik Breitner

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
self-portrait of George Hendrik Breitner, 1880's, in black chalk on paper; current location: Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam

George Hendrik Breitner (12 September 1857 – 5 June 1923) was a Dutch painter and photographer. An important figure in Amsterdam Impressionism, he is noted especially for his paintings of street scenes and harbours around 1890 – 1920. He painted frequently en plain air, and became interested in photography as a means of documenting street life and atmospheric effects; he loved the Dutch rainy or snowy weather.

Quotes of G. H. Breitner[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quotes of Breitner
Breitner, 1882: 'Distribution of Soup', watercolor on paper; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam - quote of Breitner, 1882: 'I will paint the people in the street and in the houses, the streets.. I will attempt to be 'le peintre du peuple' (the painter of the people)' // quote of Van Gogh, 1882: 'At the moment I quite often go to draw with Breitner [in the streets of The Hague].. ..we often draw types together in the soup kitchen or the waiting room &c'
Breitner, c. 1884: 'Children in the Dunes / Kinderen in het Duin', oil-painting on board; current location Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands
Breitner, l884: Street in Montmartre, Paris, oil on panel; - quote of Breitner, 1884: 'What I lack are the skills of painting, the profession which I don't know, and now I see that the French [artists] possess this so extremely strong. I do believe that you can learn it all here [in Paris]..'
Breitner, late 1880's: 'Huzaren / Hussars', oil-painting
photo by Breitner, c. 1889-1894: view from above on the bridge of Paleisstraat, Amsterdam (between Singel canal and the Spuistraat
Breitner, c. 1890: 'An Evening on the Dam in Amsterdam' (in winter), oil-painting on canvas; current location: Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Breitner, 1892: 'View on the Oosterpark' oil-painting on canvas; location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
photo of Breitner, Spring 1893: unloading of bricks or clinkers from a ship, at the Overtoom, Amsterdam
Breitner, 1894: 'Girl in white kimono / Meisje in witte kimono' (probably his regular model, Geesje Kwak), oil-painting on canvas; current location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
photo of Breitner, 1895: taken from the corner of the Hartenstraat - you can see the back-facade of the Westerkerk; - some working-notes from his sketchbook, other date: 'Hartenstraat - 1 o'clock in the afternoon - the flags throw shadow on the houses // Hartenstraat - the air is strong light - houses are illuminated from the top left - flags translucent'
Breitner, c. 1890's: 'Building site in Amsterdam', oil on canvas
Breitner, 1895-98: 'View on Dam square / Gezicht op de Dam te Amsterdam', pencil and brush, white gouache on paper; - quote of de Balbian Verster, c. 1920: 'At Dam-square [Amsterdam] we sometimes waited a long time for the horses he needed [for a new painting] - four white horses which came back riding from the Haarlemmerdijk. Then he made sketches and I helped him to distract curiosity [of the people]'
Breitner, c. 1898: 'Factory-girls', oil-painting on canvas
Breitner, c. 1901: 'Winter in Amsterdam', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Breitner, c. 1901: 'Ships in ice', oil-painting
Breitner, 1903 or later: 'Building Site on the De Clercqstraat', Amsterdam (in the background a row of houses on the canal-street Bilderdijkgracht), oil-painting on canvas; current location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Breitner, 1904: 'Rokin with the [demolished] Nieuwezijdskapel, Amsterdam', oil on canvas
photo of Breitner, c. 1906-07: rainy day at the Haarlemmerstraat, Amsterdam
photo of Breitner, early 1909: Prins Hendrikkade, Amsterdam with train-viaduct
  • What wonderful weather it has been today, I had not been outside for so long and so I spent the entire day out of doors. Wonderful. Nature is always fresh and new and to stay fresh she is the only thing giving all that is necessary. Everything is rich. I mean, not only the outdoors, landscape or something like that, but simply everything, yes everything except your workplace, and not even excluding that. 'Le spectacle est dans le spectateur' (the spectacle is in the spectator). (The Hague, 1881)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Wat heerlijk wêer is 't vandaag geweest, ik was in geen tijd buiten geweest, en ben vandaag de heelen dag buiten gebleven. Maar heerlijk. Frisch en nieuw is de natuur altijd, en om frisch te blijven is zij de eenige die 't noodige geeft, Alles even rijk. ik bedoel niet bepaald het buiten, landschap of zoo iets, maar eenvoudig, ja alles, behalve je werkplaats, en ook die niet uitgezonderd. 'Le spectacle est dans le spectateur.' (Den Haag, 1881)
      • Quote of Breitner, in his letter to A.P.van Stolk, 12 August 1881, (location: The RKD in The Hague); as quoted by Helewise Berger in Van Gogh and Breitner in The Hague, her Master essay in Dutch - Modern Art Faculty of Philosophy University, Utrecht; Febr. 2008]], (translation from the original Dutch, Anne Porcelijn) p. 4.
      • this quote of Breitner dates from the years he spent in The Hague; a year later he would regularly sketch in the streets of this city with Vincent van Gogh.
  • If you want to help me, and I know you do, believe in me. And do not help to criticize or break me, as some people do gladly, who are indifferent or hostile [towards me].. ..You must have faith in me. Believe me. And if you want to believe someone about me, believe an artist, someone like Mesdag or Blommers or Maris [one of Breitner's teachers, c. 1880], but not Kuyper and the likes of him.. ..and hear what they say and put more value on the talk 'finish better' and 'he is stubborn' - from people who, let's be honest, actually know nothing about art. (The Hague, 1881)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Indien U mij wilt helpen en dat weet ik, geloof dan in mij. en helpt niet mee om mij af te breken, dat lieden die of onverschillig zijn of vijandig zoo gaarne doen... ...Gij moet vertrouwen in mij hebben. mij geloven. En als Ge iemand gelooven wilt over mij. geloof dan een schilder iemand als Mesdag of Blommers of Maris, maar geen de Kuyper en consorten... ...en hoor wat ze zeggen en hecht dan nog eenige waarde aan de praatjes van: 'meer af' en: 'hij is koppig' - van lui die goed beschouwd er toch eigentlijk niets van weten. (Den Haag, 1881)
      • Quote from Breitner's letter to A.P. van Stolk nr. 24, 11 October 1881, (location: The RKD in The Hague); as quoted by Helewise Berger in Van Gogh and Breitner in The Hague, her Master essay in Dutch - Modern Art Faculty of Philosophy University Utrecht, February 2008]], (translation from the original Dutch, Anne Porcelijn) p. 36.
      • this quote dates from Breitner's period in The Hague, after his maecenas A.P. van Stolk withdrew his financial support. In his defense, Breitner cites a number of painters from the Hague School he is in contact with and who have already built up a certain reputation.
  • I started reading Flaubert's 'Salambô'. The first chapter was very strong. I prefer Flaubert above Zola, the Concourt even more. No doubt you know the Concourts, Edm. and Jules, two brothers. 'Manette Salomon' is one of their most beautiful creations. If you could read that, I believe you do me and yourself a great pleasure. The type of Chassagnol, the man who understands so much about Art - yes, he has the purest ideas on art of all - I find [him] adorable. He understands everything and that's why he can not be an artist himself or the greatest. I recommend that book to anyone, layman or painter and I will buy it myself.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Ik ben begonnen met Flaubert's Salambô te lezen. 't eerste hoofdstuk was verduveld kranig. Flaubert bevalt me beter dan Zola, de Concourt nog meer. Zonder twijfel kent U de Concourt, Edm. en Jules, twee broers. Manette Salomon vind ik een van hun mooiste scheppingen. Als U dat eens las zou U mij en Uzelf geloof ik een groot genoegen doen. De type van Chassagnol de man die zooveel begrijpt van Kunst, ja er 't zuiverste denkbeeld over heeft van allen, vind ik aanbiddelijk. Hij begrijpt alles en kan daardoor zelf geen kunstenaar zijn of de grootste. Ik beveel dat boek aan iedereen aan, leek of schilder en zal 't me koopen.
      • Quote of Breitner in his letter to A.P. van Stolk, 15 Nov. 1881; as cited in Breitner en Parijs – master-thesis 9928758], by Jacobine Wieringa, Faculty of Humanities Theses, Utrecht, (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek) pp. 10-11
  • Yesterday I visited Rotterdam for a while.. .It is a beautiful city. Always turbulent, dirty and picturesque, especially the vest and the harbor-neighborhoods. For the newer city I don't care at all.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Gisteren was ik nog even in Rotterdam.. t is toch een mooie stad. Altijd woelig, smerig en schilderachtig, vooral de vest en de havenbuurten, voor 't nieuwe gedeelte geef ik geen duit.
      • Quote from Breitner's letter to A. P. van Stolk, The Hague, 8 Febr. 1882; as cited in Breitner en Parijs' – master-thesis 9928758], by Jacobine Wieringa, Faculty of Humanities Theses, Utrecht, (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek), p. 10
  • Myself, I will paint the people in the street and in the houses, the streets and houses they have built, life in general. I will attempt to be 'le peintre du peuple' (the painter of the people), or rather I am that already, because I want to be. I want to paint history, and I will, but history in its' broadest sense. A market, a wharf, a river, a group of soldiers under a burning sun or in the snow.. (The Hague, 1882)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Ik zelf, ik zal de menschen schilderen op de straat en in de huizen, de straten en de huizen die ze gebouwd hebben, 't leven vooral. Le peintre du peuple zal ik trachten te worden, of liever ben ik al, omdat ik 't wil. Geschiedenis wil ik schilderen en zal ik ook, maar de geschiedenis in haren uitgebreidsten zin. Een markt, een kaai, een rivier, een bende soldaten onder een gloeiende zon of in de sneeuw.. (Den Haag, 1882)
      • Quote of Breitner, in his letter to A.P. van Stolk nr. 24, 28 maart 1882, (location: The RKD in The Hague); as quoted by Helewise Berger in Van Gogh and Breitner in The Hague, her Master essay in Dutch - Modern Art Faculty of Philosophy University, Utrecht, Febr. 2008]], (translation from the original Dutch, Anne Porcelijn) p. 6.
      • Note: this quote dates from Breitner's period in The Hague and suggests that Breitner based his ideas for subjects and methods on French Realism in literature, similar to Vincent van Gogh; they read the same novels; lending them to each other. Together they went also through the poorer neighborhoods of The Hague, c 1882, sketching and drawing.
  • After viewing a few paintings and a drawing that I had brought in the day before yesterday, Mr. v.d. Kellen [Dutch art dealer] assured me that there was absolutely no chance of placing anything of mine here, unless it was bought under pressure of a pleasant future, and I think he is right because he showed me various paintings, and specifically those that were closest to my understanding of art were the most difficult to place.. ..I was astounded and furious about such far-reaching stupidity and the pedantry of the man [another art dealer, Herman Deichmann]. All the paintings present were beneath criticism, they were just the usual German Academic stuff. (The Hague, 1882)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: De heer v.d. Kellen heeft mij na het zien van eenige schilderijtjes en een tekening, die ik eergisteren mee gebracht had, de verzekering gegeven dat er niet de minste kans bestaat hier iets van mij te plaatsen, tenzij dat het gekocht wordt door pressie een prettig vooruitzicht en ik geloof dat hij gelijk heeft want hij liet mij verschillende schilderijen zien en juist degenen die naar mijn begrippen de kunst 't meest nabij kwamen waren 't moeilijkst te plaatsen.. .Ben verbaasd en woedend geweest over de verregaande stupiditeit en pedanterie van dien heer (kunsthandelaar, Herman Deichmann). Alle schilderijen daar aanwezig waren beneden kritiek, waren enfin 't gewone duitsche Academietuig. (Den Haag, 1882)
      • Quote from Breitner's letter to A.P. van Stolk, undated c. September 1882, (location: The RKD in The Hague); as quoted by Helewise Berger in Van Gogh and Breitner in The Hague, her master-essay in Dutch - Modern Art Faculty of Philosophy University, Utrecht, Febr. 2008]], (translation from the original Dutch, Anne Porcelijn) p. 69.
      • Note: Following the advice of his maecenas Mr.van Stolk, Breitner had shown his work to two Dutch art dealers; In this quote he later gives his report and his vision on this.
  • What I lack are the skills of painting, the profession which I don't know, and now I see that the French [artists] possess this so extremely strong. I do believe that you can learn it all here. I am in Paris now. When someone is richer than me and he wants me to stay here for a year or half a year (for a few thousand francs) my future will have a lot of more certainty than when I must go back to Holland after eight days.. .I hope you will be able to fulfill my wish; I also put enough trust in you that you will do this, if you can. Waiting for your letter with a lot of anxiety, I remain' - G.H. Breitner
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Wat mij mankeert is de manier van schilderen, 't métier dat ik niet ken, en wat ik nu zie dat de Franschen zoo buitengewoon sterk bezitten. en wat ik wel geloof dat men hier leeren kan. Ik ben nu in Parijs. Wanneer iemand rijker is dan ik mij hier een jaar of een half jaar (voor een paar duizend francs) wil laten blijven, is mijn toekomst vrij wat zekerder, dan dat ik na acht daag weer naar Holland moet terugkeeren.. .Ik hoop dat U in staat zult zijn mijn wensch te verwezentlijken; ik stel ook genoeg vertrouwen in U dat ge dat doen zult als ge kunt. Met de meeste angst Uw brief te wachten, blijf ik' - tt G.H. Breitner.
      • In Breitner's letter to A.P. van Stolk from Paris, 5 Juin, 1884; as cited in Breitner en Parijs – master-thesis 9928758], by Jacobine Wieringa, Faculty of Humanities Theses, Utrecht, (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek) p. 16
  • This place [Breitner's new residential location at the Jacob van Campen-straat (De Pijp district), Amsterdam - a newly built street with construction activities all around], is just about the same as the Hobbema-straat, and that is precisely not the character of Amsterdam..
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Het is hier [Breitner's nieuwe woonlocatie aan de Jacob van Campenstraat in De Pijp, Amsterdam - een toen pas-gebouwde straat met bouw-activiteiten rondom], zowat net eender als de Hobbemastraat, en dat is nu juist niet 't karakter van Amsterdam..
      • Quote in Breitner's letter, January 1887, to his friend Herman van der Weele; as cited in George Hendrik Breitner in Amsterdam, J. F. Heijbroek, Erik Schmitz (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek); uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum, 2014, p. 12
    • Breitner preferred the atmosphere of the old city Amsterdam: Oudeschans, the old store-houses, Jo de Bree-straat, etc.
  • Today I visited Van Gogh's exhibition. I can not help it, but I think it's art for Eskimos, I can not enjoy it. I find it fairly crude and obnoxious, without the slightest distinction, and besides that everything is stolen from Millet and others.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Vandaag ben ik op de expositie van Van Gogh geweest. Ik kan het niet helpen, maar ik vind het kunst voor Eskimo's, ik kan er niet van genieten. Ik vind het eerlijk grof en onhebbelijk, zonder de minste distinctie, en buitendien alles nog een gestolen goedje van Millet en anderen.
      • Breiner's quote in his letter to Mrs. Van der Weele, (nr. 36) 25 Dec. 1892; as cited by P.H. Hefting, Brieven van G.H. Breitner aan H.J. van der Weele, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 27 1976 (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek), pp. 112-172
      • Breitner wrote his letter after visiting the large Van Gogh-exhibition in the Panorama Room, December 1892
  • Hartenstraat - 1 o'clock in the afternoon - the flags throw shadow on the houses
  • Hartenstraat - the air is strong light - houses, illuminated from the top, left - flags translucent
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands:
      Hartenstraat - 1 uur 's middags - de vlaggen werpen schaduw op de huizen
      Hartenstraat - de lucht is sterk licht - huizen, links van boven verlicht - vlaggen doorschijnend
      • two working-notes, (1888 - 1895) from his sketch-books; as cited in George Hendrik Breitner in Amsterdam, J. F. Heijbroek, Erik Schmitz (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek); uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum, 2014, p. 38
  • That painting with that man - that drunken man - was first a soup-distribution [on the streets], which I had seen, and for which I also made those studies of which you speak. Also failed; simply due to lack of perseverance. I have made another drawing of it, which V. Wisselingh found quite good and he afterwards sold to an American, and he does not know where it has gone.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Dat schilderij met die man, die dronken man was eerst een soep-uitdeeling, die ik gezien had, en waarvoor ik ook die studies gemaakt heb, waarover je spreekt. Ook mislukt, eenvoudig door gebrek aan doorzetten. Ik heb nog wel een teekening van gemaakt, die V. Wisselingh nogal goed vond en naderhand aan een Amerikaan heeft verkocht, en niet weet waar gebleven is”, aldus Breitner.
      • In Breitner's letter to Jan Veth, 1901, RKD Den Haag; as cited in Van Gogh en Breitner in Den Haag, Helewise Berger, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek) p. 67
  • In the works I paint [now] I can't see any guarantee that I shall make progress.. ..while better skilled people [artists] - even though their work does not seem so good at the moment - can move forward much more easily.
    • Er is in wat ik maak geen waarborg, dat ik vooruit zal gaan.. ..terwijl beter geschoolde lui, ook al lijkt hun werk op het ogenblik niet zoo goed, veel eer, verder kunnen komen.
      • Breitner, quoted by Jan Veth, in Portretstudies en silhouetten, J. Veth; Amsterdam 1908 (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek), p. 204
      • Jan Veth is remembering Breitner's remark from an earlier walk they made together
  • Snow had fallen and from the museum [in Pittsburgh, The ] you had a beautiful view of a valley with a railway, through some sheds, etc. But I could not finish it, and today, Sunday, I went back there again, but then the snow was already so far away that I could not make anything of it any more. It is a pity. Otherwise I could have sold something. [The painting was sold to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1934]
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Breitner, in Nederlands: Er was namelijk sneeuw gevallen en uit het museum [in Pittsburgh, Breitner nam deel aan een jury en maakte vanuit een raam aan de achterzijde van het Carnegie Institute enkele schetsen en begon aan een schilderij] had men een prachtig gezicht op een dal met een spoorweg, door wat loodsen, enz. Maar ik kon 't niet afkrijgen, en vandaag, zondag, was ik er weer heengegaan, maar toen was de sneeuw al zoo ver dat ik [er] niets meer van kon maken. Het is wel jammer. Anders had ik nog wat kunnen verkoopen misschien. [Het schilderij is in 1934 verkocht aan het Stedelijk museum Amsterdam.]
      • In Breitner' letter to his wife, 1909, from Pittsburgh; as cited in George Hendrik Breitner in Amsterdam, J. F. Heijbroek, Erik Schmitz (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek); uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum, 2014, p. 22
      • Breitner took part in an art-jury in Pittsburgh in 1909. He started to make some sketches from a window at the back-side of the Carnegie Institute and later the painting]

Quotes about G.H. Breitner[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quotes about Breitner
  • At the moment I quite often go to draw with [1]letter 204, from the original letter; location and translation: Van Gogh museum, Amsterdam], a young painter who's acquainted with Rochussen as I am with Mauve. He draws very skillfully and very differently from me, and we often draw types together in the soup kitchen or the waiting room &c. He sometimes comes to my studio to look at woodcuts, and I go to see the ones he has as well. [2]letter 204, from the original letter; location and translation: Van Gogh museum, Amsterdam]
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Vincent van Gogh in Nederlands: Tegenwoordig ga ik nogal eens tekenen met Breitner, een jong schilder die in kennis is met Rochussen, zoals ik met Mauve. Hij tekent heel handig en heel anders weer dan ik, en wij maken dikwijls samen typen in de volksgaarkeuken of de wachtkamer &c. Hij komt nogal eens bij mij op 't atelier om houtgravures te zien & ik bij hem ook.
      • Quote of Vincent van Gogh, in his letter to brother Theo, from The Hague, Monday, 13 February 1882; original manuscript at Van Gogh Museum, location Amsterdam
  • Breitner, whom I didn't in the least expect because he had apparently broken off contact completely some time ago, turned up yesterday. That pleased me because in the past — when I was first here [in The Hague] — he was very pleasant to go walking with. I mean to go out together not in the country but in the city itself, to look for figures and nice scenes. Here in The Hague there isn't a single person I've ever done that with in the city itself; most think the city ugly and pass by all of it. And yet it's really beautiful in the city sometimes, don't you agree?** Quote of Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to Theo, from the Hague, c. 11 July 1883 - original manuscript at Van Gogh Museum, location Amsterdam - inv. nos. b322 a-c V/1962 [3]
    • Breiter and Vincent frequently sketched together people in the streets of the city The Hague during 1882. They called themselves 'painter of the people / peintre du peuple' inspired by French literature, they both read
  • I hope that in the meantime you will say farewell to the untidy impressionistic manner, based on nothing and.. ..pursue that which is within your reach to develop the talent you have, with seriousness and hard work. (The Hague, 1883)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Vincent van Gogh, in Nederlands: Ik hoop, dat gij in dien tussentijd die slordige impressionisten manier, die op niets berust zult vaarwel zeggen en... ...hetgeen in Uw bereik ligt, met ernst en volharding het goede talent zult ontwikkelen dat gij hebt. (Den Haag, 1883)
      • Quote of A.P. van Stolk, in his letter to G. H. Breitner, 12 October 1883, (original, location: The RKD in The Hague); as quoted Art Policy and Maecenas, Floor Claessen - Master essay, Radboud University Nijmegen Faculty of Literature, June 2015, p.37, (translation from the original Dutch: Anne Porcelijn)
      • Breitner's maecenas Mr.van Stolk wanted Breitner to leave from his loose, sketchy style of painting and to finish his paintings properly with àll the details
  • Mr. Breitner's ridiculous landscape blotching. I am not sure if Mr. Breitner's piece is not a city or village picture, or indeed not a group of people. A mass of blue at the top does make me feel that it is outside in the open air. Have the gentlemen perhaps been sent by some Academy or other to make Impressionism ridiculous? (1884)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Alberdingk Thijm, in Nederlands: Onzinnig is de landschapskladderij van de Heer Breitner. Ik ben niet zeker of het stuk van de Heer Breitner geen stads-of-dorpsgezicht is, of geen samengroepering van menschen. Een massa blauw boven doet mij in allen geval aan buitenlucht denken. Zijn die Heeren misschien door de een of andere Academie uitgezonden om het impressionisme belachelijk te maken? (1884)
      • Quote of Alberdingk Thijm, 1884, from his art-review about Taco Mesdag's collection, in periodic 'Het Groene Weekblad', 1884; as cited in G.H. Breitner, 1857-1923, Adriaan Venema, Publisher: Wereldvenster, Bussum 1981, p. 119 (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek)
      • The Dutch art-critics in the period 1880-90 are often critical of the sketch-like manner of painting by Breitner and similar sketchy artists.
  • See the wonderful harmony of emotional colors, that warm white, that greasy metal gray; with notes of dark blue and somber yellow; that reflected-dark, glowing environment with here and there a matt sweep of light.. ..at the exhibitions where it was exposed, it was misunderstood – it was placed in a corner or was hung too high.
    • Zie de heerlijke harmonie van emotionele kleuren, dat warme wit, dat vette metaalgrijs; met noten donkerblauw en sombergeel; die gereflecteerde-donkere, gloeiende omgeving met hier en daar een matte lichtveeg.. ..op de tentoonstellingen waar het geweest is werd het onbegrepen - in een hoek of te hoog gehangen.
      • Quote of Willem Witsen, in his art-critic 'Expositie Van Wisselingh in Arti te Amsterdam', De Nieuwe Gids 3 (1885) 5, dl.2, p. 301
      • Witsen is describing here Breitner’s painting White horse at Montmartre', - in 1985 he re-painted it in The Hague
  • At Dam square [Amsterdam] we sometimes waited a long time for the horses he needed [for a new painting], four white horses which came back from the Haarlemmerdijk. Then he made sketches and I helped him to distract curiosity [of the people at Dam square]. Sometimes I did object to such a trip, when it was blowing hard or raining, but then he was in his element: 'But dude, dont you see how beautiful it is.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van J.F.L. de Balbian Verster, in Nederlands: Op de Dam stonden we soms lang te wachten tot de paarden die hij hebben moest, vier schimmels, weer van de Haarlemmerdijk kwamen aanrijden. Dan maakte hij krabbels en ik hielp hem om de nieuwsgierigheid af te leiden. Soms had ik wel bezwaar in zoo'n tocht, als het hard woei of regende, maar dan was hij in zijn element: 'Maar kerel, zie je dan niet hoe mooi of het is'.
      • Quote by J.F.L. de Balbian Verster, c 1920; as cited in George Hendrik Breitner in Amsterdam, J. F. Heijbroek, Erik Schmitz (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek); uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum, 2014, p. 32
      • Verster lived then in the Warmoestraat (along the Damrak) in Amsterdam, till 1906. The two spent for some years almost daily together. Breitner frequently painted from the backside of Verster's house, with a wide view on Damrak, the houses, the water and the boats
  • How could he grumble about the disappearance of the tram-horses [in Amsterdam city], which were replaced by 'those ugly, soulless boxes', as he called the first electric trams.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van J.F.L. de Balbian Verster, in Nederlands: Hoe kon hij foeteren over het verdwijnen van de trampaarden, die vervangen werden door 'die lelijke, zielloze doozen', zoals hij de eerste electrische wagens noemde.
      • Quote by J.F.L. de Balbian Verster, c 1920; as cited in George Hendrik Breitner in Amsterdam, J. F. Heijbroek, Erik Schmitz (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek); uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum, 2014, p. 32
  • He had nervous manners and his shyness made him seem unfriendly. A normal conversation was impossible: he spoke in short stiff sentences that were regularly interrupted by an abrupt laughter. Unexpected sounds or light could startle him. He preferred to play chess with Willen Witsen rather than having a conversation.
    • Hij had nerveuze manieren en zijn verlegenheid zorgde ervoor dat hij onvriendelijk leek. Een normale conversatie was onmogelijk: hij sprak in korte stijve zinnen die regelmatig werden onderbroken door abrupte lachsalvo's. Onverwacht geluid of licht konden kon hem doen opschrikken. Hij schaakte liever met Willen Witsen dan dat hij een gesprek voerde.
  • Once I heard him [Breitner] saying: 'I do not understand that you paint the sea with your talent - I think the sea is ugly'. When I showed him a big moon-sea [painting of Mendlik] at another time, he exclaimed 'What a beautiful sky you have painted, but underneath that you should not have painted the sea but a farm with a yellow-lit window and dark trees'. I laughingly answered: 'Yes, and a gray horse' [which Breitner often painted in his Amsterdam city-paintings] and Breitner had to laugh with me.
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Oskar Mendlik, in Nederlands: Eenmaal kreeg ik [van Breitner] te horen: 'Ik begrijp niet dat jij met je talent de zee schildert - ik vind de zee lelijk'. Toen ik hem op een andere keer een grote maan-zee [schilderij van Mendlik] liet zien, riep hij uit 'Wat 'n prachtige lucht heb je geschilderd, maar daaronder moest je niet de zee maar een boerderij met geel-verlicht raampje en donkere bomen schilderen'. Waarop ik lachend antwoordde: 'Ja, en een grijs paard [vaak te zien in Breitner's Amsterdam schilderijen], en Breitner moest wel meelachen.
      • Memory by the sea-painter Oskar Mendlik; as quoted by Bert Sliggers in his series of publications in the 'IJmuider Courant' paper, 14 April-16 June, 1989 (translation from the original Dutch: Fons Heijnsbroek) - about Breitner's activities in Aerdenhout and Haarlem for three years, near the Dutch dunes and coast
      • Oskar Mendlik was a marine painter; he frequently met Breitner at their workshops in Aerdenhout between 1903-1906, when Breitner lived there for 3 years, after which he went back to Amsterdam, because: 'the greenery ... annoying!'

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: