Twee Waspitten
signed 'G.H. Breitner' (lower left)
chalk and gouache on paper
610 x 420 mm.
Executed circa 1890
Mr. J. Hidde Nijland (1853-1931), Dordrecht.
with Koninklijke Kunstzaal Kleykamp, The Hague, by 1928.
In the family of the present owner since the 1950s.
‌The Hague, Gemeente Museum van Moderne Kunst, Breitner, 10 November - 9 December 1928, no. 99.
‌Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Retrospective de l'oeuvre de Breitner, January 1932, p. 48, no. 99.
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Lot Essay

George Hendrik Breitner was one of the leading figures of the Amsterdam impressionist movement. As 'Le peintre du peuple’, he didn’t want to paint classical themes or make realistic historical paintings in an academic manner. Foremost he wanted to depict everyday life.
Breitner moved from The Hague to Amsterdam in 1886. With a population of half a million, Amsterdam was growing at an unprecedented rate and its building industry was booming. The city fascinated Breitner with its promise of untold opportunities to study subjects from everyday life. He took to the streets armed with a sketchbook and camera to record construction workers and labourers, glimpses of maidservants, and playing children. Along with his detailed sketches, his photographs can be seen as preliminary studies, which he would use in his studio and translate into paint. The bustling city life would become a recurring subject in his oeuvre.

The present lot is a fine example of Breitner's bold approach and a typical example of Amsterdam Impressionism which engages us in the concentrated moments of activity of common people. It is precisely the coarse quality of the models used in this gouache that make these girls so interesting.

It has been suggested that the present lot is a preparatory drawing for Twee waspitten (oil on canvas, 70 x 47 cm, dated 1890) by G.H. Breitner in the collection of Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar.

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