Constant Artz painted the Dutch landscape with willows and windmills, but became best known for his waterscapes with ducks in all their doings. He painted this motif in countless ways, showing himself to be a very good observer of nature. Artz was also an exceptionally clever watercolourist. As the son of the Haagse-School painter D.A.C. Artz was born in Paris, where his father studied with Gustave Courbet. When Constant was 4 years old, the family moved back to the Netherlands in 1874. Father Artz discovered his son's artistic talent at an early age and enrolled him in 1882 at the Hague Academy. In 1899 Constant was given a place in the studio of Tony Offermans, a typical Hague painter whose work was an extension of that of Jozef Israëls. The Dutch variant of Impressionism was instilled in Constant with the young spoon.
At home he became acquainted with his father's painter friends, Jacob and Matthijs Maris, and also Willem Mesdag, who gave him advice. But it was Willem Maris who was most interested in Artz's work, gave him many instructions and became his great example. Under the influence of Simon Maris, Artz specialized in painting duck families in all their doings, a theme that he would never let go of for the rest of his life. The landscapes he painted, often with windmills, and seascapes are little known. He painted them en plein air, fascinated by nature, just like his father. But he would become – and remain – really famous for his duck paintings, which he painted in a smooth, impressionistic touch. In contrast to the work of Simon Maris, they are smaller in size and the brush stroke is less robust. But the similarity between the two painters is the play of light and shadow. Artz managed to make endless combinations within his theme; compositions of ducks in the grass, next to the ditch side, with trees and ducks in close-up or further in the distance, the sunlight on the mother duck or her chicks.
Despite the fact that the attention for the Hague School and its followers waned somewhat after 1930, Constant Artz remained a favorite of the public – the painter of friendly and sunny scenes with a mother duck with young in the water or on the side of a ditch. During the war period, he was even able to support his family by trading paintings for food. During the last years of his life, his eyesight deteriorated sharply, resulting in a broad impressionistic way of painting. Artz died at the age of 80 in Soestdijk, where he had lived since 1985, with a period of five years in Katwijk aan Zee.