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


Floris Arntzenius (1864-1925)
signed 'F. Arntzenius' (lower left)
chalk, watercolour and gouache on paper
590 x 365 mm.
Excecuted circa 1892.
Mr. H.G. and Mrs. Tersteeg, The Hague, by 1903.
with Kunsthandel Mark Smit, where acquired by the previous owners.
P.A. Haaxman jr., 'Floris Arntzenius', in: Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift,13 (1903) XXV, p. 168, as: Passie.
Anonymous, 'Floris Arntzenius.', in: Artistiek Weekblad voor Schilderkunst en Kunstnijverheid, no. 7, 2 April 1910, p. 1.
Dolf Welling, Floris Arntzenius, The Hague, 1992, p. 24.
Onno Maurer, Gerdy Seegers (a.o.), 2007, pp. 78-79, no. 16.
Amersfoort, Museum Flehite, Jongkind tot van der Leck, de passie van een collectioneur, Collectie Kamerbeek, 21 January-9 April 2007, no. 16.
Gouda, Museum Gouda, Floris Arntzenius en zijn passies, 19 February-28 April 2017.

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Irena Okoelskaja
Irena Okoelskaja

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 center 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 on his own work. In 1892 he moved back to The Hague, where 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 and in so doing became a representative of the younger generation of The Hague School.

When Arntzenius went back to The Hague in 1892 he made an interesting series of watercolours depicting an embracing couple titled Passion or The Kiss, of which the present lot is a very fine example. It depicts a scene from the naturalist novel Een passie: analyse van een gemoedstoestand by the Dutch novelist Maurits Wagenvoort (1859-1944), written under the pseudonym Vosmeer de Spie. The book not only caused commotion in the literatry world (it was refused by six publishers); but also Arntzenius' series received tumultiuos reactions. Although it has been suggested the present lot is a self-portrait of the artist, we are not entirely sure if he painted his fantasy or after life. It is a mysterious work and has a very intimate atmosphere. When the Hague art-critic P.A. Haaxman visited the artist's studio he wrote about a work from this series which he saw on the studio wall. He wrote: “In zijn atelier trok mijn aandacht aan den wand een krijtkrabbel, herinnering aan een aquarel in de portefeuille van mevr. Tersteeg. In enkele lijnen zag men hier de expressie van een minnend paar, elkaar omhelzend in een innige omstrengeling. De passie was hier uitgedrukt niet materialistisch, maar als ‘twee zielen gloeiend aaneengesmeed” (see: P.A. Haaxman jr., 'Floris Arntzenius', in: Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift,13 (1903) XXV, p. 168).

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