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Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)
Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)

Straat; a view of the Spuistraat, The Hague

Details
Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)
Straat; a view of the Spuistraat, The Hague
signed 'Fl Arntzenius' (lower left); and signed again and inscribed with title (on a label attached to the stretcher)
oil on canvas
70 x 95.5 cm.
Provenance
Mrs. van Boekhoven Leydenroth, Utrecht; sale, Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 16 April 1918, lot 5 (titled 'De Spuistraat in Den Haag bij Regenweer').

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Else Valk
Else Valk

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Lot Essay

After his formal training and an additional year at the Academy of Antwerp, Arntzenius moved to Amsterdam which was considered to be the artistic centre of The Netherlands in the last decade of the 19th Century. At the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam he worked among painters such as Willem Witsen (1860-1923), Isaac Israels (1865-1934) and George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923). Their unfolding impressionistic style was highly admired by Arntzenius and would leave a lasting impression in his own work. In 1892 he moved back to The Hague, were he would remain for the rest of his life and developed his famous city scenes. Like The Hague School painters, Arntzenius was a master in capturing light and atmosphere. He preferred painting the busy city streets to the Dutch landscape which the older generation had chosen. At that time the established painters of the first generation of The Hague School, like Jozef Israels and Hendrik Willem Mesdag, dominated artistic life in The Hague. During his time in The Hague, Arntzenius became representative of the younger generation of The Hague School.

Arntzenius' paintings reflected the sophisticated atmosphere of The Hague around the turn of the century. He gave preference to modest sized canvases, emphasizing the intimate character of streets such as the Spui or the Wagenstraat, with figures hurrying over the wet and shiny asphalt past illuminated shop windows and colourful sign-boards. He loved to work outside in the streets and make sketches and studies of various streets in The Hague - which delivered him the nickname of: 'Straatjesschilder'. The present lot, A view of the Spuistraat, is a beautiful example of the streets in The Hague where Arntzenius was known for. Arntzenius captures the light and atmosphere of a rainy day with a variety of figures, and the dynamic representation of the buildings, are all instrumental in creating a beautifully balanced composition.

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