This is the last Sunday of our special month with the Kröller-Müller Museum's collection in Otterlo. We end it with this quite autumnal painting. We hope you enjoy the selection! : )
George Hendrik Breitner is renowned as a painter of street life, particularly in Amsterdam. In his younger years he spent some time with Vincent van Gogh in The Hague and would later remark that Van Gogh made "art for Eskimos," as he was primarily concerned with his own experience of reality. He himself opted for pure, bare reality.
He took his sketchbook and camera outside to capture cityscapes and scenes of city life both quickly and effectively, including the Dam Square, the Damrak, and the Rokin, but also the poorer districts such as the Jordaan. He included elegant ladies and housewives, but also dock workers or girls with flapping aprons. The sketches and photographs he made in the streets were developed in his studio. With his fluent, Impressionist style, he succeeded in rendering to canvas the fleetingness of the moment and the atmosphere of bustling city life.
Breitner’s work is not as sunny and colorful as that of the French Impressionists. He preferred the grey, rainy weather; the snow, the wind and the dark days of autumn and winter, with people walking hastily in the street—as in this painting.
P.S. Here you will find one of the most beautiful odes to Autumn. Millais depicted Autumn as a group of girls collecting colorful leaves in a melancholic atmosphere.