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Jan Mankes (Dutch, 1889-1920)
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Jan Mankes (Dutch, 1889-1920)

Bomenrij

Details
Jan Mankes (Dutch, 1889-1920)
Bomenrij
signed and dated 'J.Mankes./.1915.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
69 x 52 cm.
Provenance
Larensche Kunsthandel, Laren, no.4.
G.H. Le Cosquine de Bussy - Kolff van Oosterwijk, Heelsum.
Literature
A. Mankes - Zernike, Jan Mankes, Utrecht 1923, p. 61.
A. Plasschaert and J. Havelaar, Jan Mankes, Wassenaar 1927 (ill.)
Exh.cat. Fries Museum Leeuwarden, Jan Mankes, 1979, p. 25 (ill.).
H.F. Bruyel - van der Palm (e.o.), Jan Mankes, Utrecht 1989, p. 67, no. 79 (ill.)
Exhibited
Utrecht, Utrechtse Kunsthandel, Eere tentoonstelling Jan Mankes, 24 February - 24 March 1923, no. 94.
Potsdam, 50 Jahre Holländische Malerei, 1925.
Wassenaar, Kunstzaal de Rietvink, Jan Mankes, 7 May - 30 May 1927, no. 56.
Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Jan Mankes, 10 December 1949 - 14 January 1950, inv. no. 71.
Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, Jan Mankes, 21 April - 18 May 1969 cat. no. 43, (as Bomenrij weg Heereveen - Knijpe)
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Lot Essay

Bomenrij is one of the largest paintings Mankes has ever painted. In 1915 Mankes made three or four vertical paintings that are slightly bigger than the usually smaller sizes.
Bomenrij depicts a road near Oranjewoud, a small village in Friesland. Mankes lived most of his life in De Knijpe, a village not far from Oranjewoud.
The trees, with their long trunks and high tops without leafs, are very similar to the tree group from a painting dated two years earlier De Woudsterweg, now in the collection of the Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem.
Although Mankes favorite subjects were birds and small animals, from 1911 the beauty of the spacious Fries landscape enchanted him more and more. In February 1912 Mankes wrote in a letter to A.A.M. Pauwels, an admirer and collector of Mankes' works: 'Zoo heb ik het reeds jaren beraamde en bekende plan uitgevoerd De Woudsterweg te schilderen. D'r heb je 't al, landschap'. (Bruyel, op.cit. p. 39-40). These evening landscape paintings are not intended to be typical views of a certain place and nobody ever saw Mankes painting along this road. All these works were executed in his studio. As Bruyel stated: 'Het is zo typerend voor Mankes dat, als hij zich aan zoiets groots waagt, hij juist deze Woudsterweg tot onderwerp kiest. Zoals met al zijn onderwerpen immers, werd ook dit stuk natuur net zo lang bestudeerd, geabsorbeerd totdat het een deel van hemzelf betrof, als vanzelf kon weergeven. (...) een poetisch en dromerig landschap in verstilde tinten, voortkomend uit een bijna religieuze concentratie'. (Bruyel op.cit. p. 40).
It has been suggested that Mankes depicted himself together with his fiancée, Annie Zernike in the present landscape. 'The symbolist meaning in this landscape is of great significance. Two small insignificant strollers overwhelmed by nature'. (Bruyel op.cit. p. 67).
In a personal note Mankes wrote:
'De wereld der menschen, mijn werk
ik meen ze in juiste proportie te zien,
onooglijk klein vergeleken bij God en mij'
(op.cit. p. 67).
And in 1913 he wrote to Pauwels: 'De onderwerpen zitten toch in den schilder, nooit daarbuiten'.
Mr. Arthur Le Cosquino de Bussy, an archivist from Amsterdam, bought 'Bomenrij immediately after he first saw the work. He became acquainted with Mankes through Annie Zernike, whom he knew from his student years. He developed a great interest in Mankes' works and acquired one of the largest collections.
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