George Hendrik Breitner

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

George Hendrik Breitner - in quotes. George 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
photo by Breitner, c. 1884-94: 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
Breitner, 1894: 'Girl in white kimono / Meisje in witte kimono' (probably his regular model, Geesje Kwak), oil-painting on canvas; current location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Breitner, 1895: photo of Breitner: 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, 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, 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
  • 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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, February 2008]], (translation from the original Dutch, Anne Porcelijn) p. 4.
    • Note: 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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.
    • Note: 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.
  • 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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, February 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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, February 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.
  • This place [Breitner's new residential location at the Jacob van Campen-straat (De Pijp district), Amsterdam - a newly built street with construction activities around], is just about the same as the Hobbema-straat, and that is precisely not the character of Amsterdam..
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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..
    • 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.
  • 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
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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
  • 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]
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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]
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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, (transl. A. Porcelijn) p. 37.
    • 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)
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • in original Dutch / citaat 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, which were replaced by 'those ugly, soulless boxes', as he called the first electric trams.
  • 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
  • Once I heard him saying [Breitner]: '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.
  • 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 - about Breitner's activities in Aerdenhout and Haarlem for three years near the Dutch dunes and coast
    • Oskar Mendlik was a marine painter and regularly met Breitner at their workshops in Aerdenhout between 1903-1906, when Breitner lived there for 3 years, after which he went back to Amsterdam: 'the greenery ... annoying!'

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: