Anton Mauveartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanZaandam 1838-1888 Arnhem
biography of Anthonij 'Anton' Mauve
Portrait of Anthonij 'Anton' Mauve
The father of Anton Mauve, pastor in Haarlem, initially resisted his son's wish to become an artist. But in the end, in 1954, he was 16 years old, apprenticed to the Haarlem cattle painter Pieter Frederik van Os. It was the start of a career in which the painter would constantly develop. In the summer of 1858, Mauve went to Oosterbeek, persuaded by his ten-year-old Haarlem painter's friend Gabriel. In this Veluwe village, the ideas of the French Barbizon painters were put into practice. The aim was to portray nature and the mood of the moment as realistic as possible. So the young artists went into nature with their painting gear to observe it on the spot and record their impressions. Mauve developed a great love for nature and practiced working 'en plein air'. He also met Willem Maris, who became a good friend. Mauve kept returning to Oosterbeek throughout the 60s. He found there the rich variety of pasture land with cattle, forest and heathland with sheep grazing herds of which the rural activities enchanted him.
In 1871 he moved to The Hague where his friend Willem Maris lived and married Jet Carbentus, a niece of Vincent van Gogh. Now the unspoiled landscape around The Hague became his working area. In this period he often painted landscapes with horses, masterfully observed and sometimes radiating a melancholic atmosphere. Contemporaries called contemporaries this work. Mauve was often to be found in the Dekkersduin, where he had an improvised studio and observed herds of sheep. During these years, interest in his work increased, partly due to the art dealer Goupil & Cie., Who sold his paintings to England, Scotland and the United States. When, in the early 1980s, the unspoilt spots around The Hague had to clear the field for development due to the rising industrialization, Mauve packed his painting supplies and moved to quieter areas.
It was on the advice of Jozef Israëls that he first arrived (1882) in the village of Laren, surrounded by extensive heathland. 'It is a beautiful country here, beautiful heathland, there are also sheep, magnificent thatched roofs and very friendly corners,' he wrote to his wife. Three years later he left The Hague and settled definitively in the picturesque farming village.
Mauve is incorrectly called a 'sheep painter', although he was also a handsome painter of horses and landscapes with cows. But what he actually painted over the years was nature: the atmosphere of pearl-gray or sometimes wet, cold autumn days, quiet, snowy winter days and the early morning of a summer day, damp and windless.