Jacob Maris

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portrait of Jacob Maris, painted by his younger brother Matthijs Maris, in Paris, 1857

Jacob Maris (August 25, 1837, The Hague – August 7, 1899, Karlsbad) was a Dutch landscape painter of the Hague School, like his two younger brothers, Willem Maris and Matthijs Maris. Jacob was famous for his paintings of Dutch cities, he composed freely.

Quotes of Jacob Maris[edit]

Jacob Maris, c. 1866: 'Italian Girl' (painted in Paris), oil on panel
Jacob Maris, c. 1870: 'Boat on the Beach of Scheveningen', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1873: 'View of the Mill and Bridge.. ..The Hague', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1878: 'Slatuintjes bij Den Haag / Kitchen garden near The Hague', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1879: 'Wooden bridge over a canal at Rijswijk', oil on panel
Jacob Maris, c. 1885-87: 'Stadsgezicht / City-view', oil on canvas; - quote of Jacob Maris: Why shouldn't I build my own cities myself?'
Jacob Maris, 1885: 'Fishing Boat on the Beach at Scheveningen / Bomschuit op het Scheveningse strand', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1891: 'Landschap in de omgeving van Den Haag / Landscape near The Hague', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, date unknown: 'Village near Schiedam', oil-painting on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1897: 'Het Jaagpad / The Towpath', oil on canvas
Jacob Maris, 1897: 'Stadsgezicht / City view', oil on canvas
  • On the other hand, I am accused of not finishing my paintings, no matter how much time I spent to my airs. Well, 'finished' in the common sense of the word, they are certainly not! Finishing in that sense would drag the life out of it. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Daarentegen wordt mij verweten dat mijn schilderijen niet af zijn, hoe ik mijn lucht ook doorwerkt heb. Nu, 'af' in de gewone beteekenis van het woord is mijn werk zeker niet. Door in dien zin het af te maken, zou ik er het leven uithalen.
    • in Jacob Maris (1837-1899), M. van Heteren and others; as cited in 'Ik denk in mijn materie', in exhibition catalog of Teylers Museum / Museum Jan Cunen), Zwolle 2003, p. 76
  • Almost all new French art [ French Impressionism ] has for me a flat, empty character without any distance and depth in colors. The paintings look like white sheets of paper with colors on it.
    • Bijna alle nieuwe Fransche kunst [Impressionisme] heeft voor mij een plat, leeg karakter zonder afstand en diepte in kleur. De schilderijen lijken witte velletjes papier met kleurtjes erop.
  • A painting is finished when one can see what it represents. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Een schilderij is af als men zien kan wat het voorstelt.
      • as cited by G.H. Marius, in 'Jacob Maris', in Het Schildersboek. Nederlandsche Schilders der Negentiende eeuw, Amsterdam 1898, p. 11
  • Damned! Another 'town under white clouds'.. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Verdomme, [al]wéér een 'stad met witte wolken'!
      • Quote of Jacob Maris, in: De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de 19e eeuw, G. H. Marius; Martinus Nijhoff, s-Gravenhage, 1903/1920, p. 246; as cited in Van IJs naar Sneeuw - De ontwikkeling van het wintergezicht in de 19de eeuw, Arsine Nazarian July 2008, Utrecht University; student-no. 0360953, p. 70
      • Maris had more ordered paintings with such motifs than he liked
  • When I am tired of long, straight roof lines, why should I not introduce a cupola, especially where the cloud formation requires its support?. .Why should I not build my own towns to suit myself?
  • Thijs knew everything by himself, he was a genius. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Thijs wist alles uit zich zelf, hij was een genie.
      • Quote of Jacob Maris about his brother Matthijs Maris, in a talk with G. H. Marius in: De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de 19e eeuw, G. H. Marius; Martinus Nijhoff, s-Gravenhage, 1903/1920, p. 144
  • When I'm sitting in front of my easel again.. .I'm going to make things that no one would have expected of me. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Als ik maar weêr voor den ezel zit.. ..ik ga dingen maken, die men niet van me verwacht zou hebben.
      • as cited by M. van Heteren e.a., Jacob Maris (1837-1899). Ik denk in mijn materie, (exp. cat. Haarlem, Teylers Museum / Oss, Museum Jan Cunen) Zwolle 2003, p. 144
      • a remark of Jacob, just before his death

Quotes about Jacob Maris[edit]

  • In the morning, at the edge of a luminous horizon, the [painting] 'Ferry' of Mr. Maris mixes sky and water like amorous mouths.. ..oxen cross the shimmering lake, and in their misty vapors the villages in the distance awake in a clear shade. A ravishing canvas without any dullness. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • (quote in original French:) Le bac de M. Maris mêle dans le matin, sur le bord d'un horizon lumineux, le ciel et l'eau comme des bouches amoureuses. Des boeufs glacés de clartés traversent le lac qui scintille, et dans leur nids de brumes, les villages au loin s'éveillent au sein d'une ombre claire. Toile ravissante et sans fadeur.
  • My brother Jaap was born as a painter, which means he really enjoyed it. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van nl:Matthijs Maris, in het Nederlands: mijn broer Jaap was een geboren schilder which means, hij had er plezier in.
      • Quote of brother Matthijs Maris, c. 1890; in Jacob Maris (1837-1899), M. van Heteren and others; as cited in 'Ik denk in mijn materie', in exhibition catalog of Teylers Museum / Museum Jan Cunen), Zwolle 2003, p. 29
      • his remark shortly after Jacob's death, from London where Matthijs lived for many years
  • His pictures in fact appeal to the very sentiments that gave them birth; they reveal his intimate acquaintance with colour in all its gradations, his splendid contrasts of light and shadow. The charm they exert upon us is due in part to the grandeur of Maris's artistic sense, his power of sympathy, strength of conception, and his glorious schemes of colour, and in part to the nobility and loftiness of spirit ever unconsciously reflected in this great artist's work.
  • Jacob Maris must have found the cause of this change in the routine, a way of creating developed against his own will, anyhow he once made (c. 1895?) the remark that he. '..would be pleased if would lose for a while the use of his right hand: with his left he would probably be more clumsy, and start to paint as before. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris/ G.H. Marius, in het Nederlands: Jacob Maris moet de oorzaak dezer verandering gezocht hebben in de routine, in een tegen zijn wil ontstane manier, althans hij maakte eens (c. 1895?) de opmerking, dat hij ..'het wel prettig zou vinden indien hij voor korten tijd het gebruik van zijn rechterhand verloor: met de linker zou hij allicht onbeholpener zijn en weer schilderen zooals vroeger'.
      • Quote of and as cited by G. H. Marius in: De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de 19e eeuw; Martinus Nijhoff, s-Gravenhage, 1903/1920, p. 136
  • Although Jacob Maris probably have painted studies outdoors during his early years, it was more his habit, coming back home, to fix his impressions in paint [on the canvas] in the studio. These first impressions, in which the painter's emotion was fully represented, were beautiful grips. With dripping bitumen sometimes - which makes the color more ripe - he had caught already the deep hue, which he loved so much during his middle period.. .A few times in summer they went to Scheveningen, sometimes a day to Dordrecht; that was the most far away. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)
    • version in original Dutch / citaat van G.H. Marius, in het Nederlands: Ofschoon Jacob Maris in zijn jonge jaren allicht buiten studies geschilderd zal hebben, zoo was het meer zijn gewoonte om thuis komend zijn indrukken op het atelier in verf vast te zetten. In deze eerste indrukken, waarin heel de emotie van den schilder veraanschouwelijkt was, waren prachtige grepen. Druipend soms van bitum, die de kleur rijper maakt, was hierin reeds de diepe toon getroffen, welke Jacob Maris in zijn midden-periode zoo lief had.. .Enkele keeren 'szomers gingen zij naar Scheveningen, soms een dag naar Dordrecht; dat was nog het verste.
      • Quote of G. H. Marius in: De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de 19e eeuw; Martinus Nijhoff, s-Gravenhage, 1903/1920, pp. 128-129
  • In very bad weather Jacob Maris met one day an acquaintance who passing by, shouted: 'What a beautiful sky, huh!' 'What shall I say', was the answer [from Jacob] in jesting tone and with a smile, which had to soften the haughty gesture, 'I paint it better'.
    • Jacob Maris kwam in een barre weerstemming eens een kennis tegen, die hem in 't voorbijgaan toeriep: 'Wat 'n mooie lucht, he'! 'Och wat', luidde 't antwoord in schertstoon en met een glimlach, die 't hooghartige gebaar moest vergoeilijken, 'ik schilder 'm beter'.
  • Th. De Bock has explained how little realistic James [= Jacob] Maris was in his paintings, which have such an appearance of frank truth that one would hesitate without this proof to think they were other than records of the places he painted. He used to make numerous sketches of the bridge and canal near his house, but when he came to paint he combined all these into a [one!] picture which, though not this bridge, yet got the indefinable something, the essence of the scene before him, though it was far from being like a photographic statement of it.
  • The pictures of 1870 [during his last year in Paris] and later of James [= Jacob, in Dutch] Maris, though mostly small, show an appreciation of tone indicating how the mind of the artist was awaking. Colour he did not strive after, as in his later years, but in the general arrangement of composition, the tones of sky and landscape, can be observed the first indications of the [later] success of the painter of The Windmill, The Bridge, and a dozen other masterpieces. James Maris and his family returned to The Hague in 1871, glad no doubt to be back in the land of peace and prosperity after their semi-starvation in the beleaguered city [Paris; the end of the Commune and the war with Germany]
  • James Maris also was always honoured in the 'Boulevard' [so they called the 'little place' of art-dealer Goupil, near the Cafe Richelieu at Boulevard Montmartre], and although he went back to the Hague soon after the close of the war [1871], his relations with the Goupils continued until his death, greatly fostered by the courageous manager of the branch house in Holland, Mr. {{w:nl:Hermanus Tersteeg|H. G. Tersteeg}}. From this time onwards the story of the life of James Maris is the experience of every successful artist who has found his metier and reached his market. Under the farseeing guidance of Mr. Tersteeg, James [= Jacob, in Dutch] Maris had little further anxiety even in the rearing and educacating of his numerous family.
  • It will be observed that James [= Jacob] Maris frankly accepts the subjects which are laid to his hand - he paints nothing but what can be found in Holland at the present day, and lands foreign to Holland have never been able to induce him to portray their landscape or their inhabitants.

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