Jan Mankes (1889-1920)
Jan Mankes (1889-1920)

Lijster tussen bloesem

Jan Mankes (1889-1920)
Lijster tussen bloesem
signed 'J Mankes' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25.5 x 20.5 cm.
Painted in 1912
G.A. van Rede, Rotterdam, 1927.
J.A.A.M. van Es, Wassenaar, 1950.
A. Mankes-Zernike, R.N. Roland Holst, Jan Mankes, Utrecht 1923, p. 59.
A. Plasschaert, J. Havelaar & A. Mankes-Zernike, Jan Mankes, Wassenaar 1927, p. 56.
A. Mankes-Zernike, R.N. Roland Holst, Jan Mankes, Wassenaar 1927, p. 57.
A. Ottevanger (a.o.), Jan Mankes 1889-1920, Zwolle 2007, no. 80 (illustrated p. 191).
Jan de Lange, Jan Mankes, een kunstenaarsleven in brieven 1910-1920, Zwolle 2013, p. 262.
Utrecht, Utrechtsche Kunsthandel, Eere-tentoonstelling Jan Mankes, 24 February - 24 March 1923, no. 119.
Rotterdam, Kunstkring, Tentoonstelling van schilderijen, teekeningen en grafisch werk van Jan Mankes, 11 - 29 April 1923, no. 85.
Wassenaar, Kunstzaal De Rietvink, Keuze-tentoonstelling van werken door Jan Mankes uit particulier bezit, 7 - 30 May 1927, no. 31.
Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Herdenkingstentoonstelling Jan Mankes, 10 December 1949 - 14 January 1950, no. 39.

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Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

After the retirement of his father, in 1909, Jan Mankes left Delft for the rustic countryside of Friesland in the north of The Netherlands.
Here Mankes had more room for his animals, which were his favourite subject to paint. He worked with small animals like rabbits, goats and mice. However, he specifically loved birds. Owls, crows and the thrush, probably sent to Mankes by his maecenas A.A.M. Pauwels, who would supply him with all the materials, including animals, he would need.

Mankes was especially confident about this present lot Lijster tussen bloesem. In February 1912 he wrote a letter to A.A.M. Pauwels: "Het deed me bijzonder plezier dat er weer wat bij verkocht is, temeer daar we daar sterk aan twijfelen, wie weet, komt het nog niet heel goed als de zaak nog wat open blijft, de lijster zal wel die zijn met de witte bloesems, stellig een der mooiste dingen, wat 't zelfportret is zullen we nog wel hooren". (op.cit. J. De Lange, Jan Mankes: een kunstenaarsleven in brieven, Zwolle 2013, p. 262)

The thinly painted canvas with its transparent layers and the oblong format reflects Mankes' interest in Japanese art. His inspiration came from the Gowanbook he recieved from a friend in The Hague. The little booklet contained a few reproductions of Japanese prints and drawings. It stimulated Mankes' symbolistic phase, in which he focused more on inner thruth and ideal beauty than the technique that was truest to nature. The three values Mankes pursued in his work: beauty, purity and simplicity, can therefore be recognised in the Lijster tussen bloesem, where the bird is the ultimate example of Mankes' characteristic style.

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