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Jan Sluijtersartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanDen Bosch 1881-1957 Amsterdam

biography of Johannes Carolus Bernardus 'Jan' Sluijters

Jan Sluijters, together with Leo Gestel and Piet Mondriaan, is one of the first Dutch 'moderns'. At the beginning of the 20th century, Sluijters sought affiliation with the European avant-garde in Paris. There he became acquainted with neo-impressionism, fauvism, luminism, cubism and expressionism at the Salon des Independants, new art movements with which he experimented almost all over the next 15 years. As an ambitious and virtuoso painter, Sluijters is looking for new forms of expression and introduces light and color into Dutch painting.

After moving from his hometown Den Bosch to Amsterdam, Sluijters attended the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijs in the capital. Then the painting class of Prof. Nicolaas van der Waay at the National Academy of Visual Arts and the evening course of Prof. August Allebé. Sluijters started early as an independent draftsman, illustrating children's books and making book covers. In 1904 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome with a large academic painting and a four-year scholarship. Sluijters, just married, travels through Italy and Spain with his wife Bertha Langerhorst and then, together with painter friend Leo Gestel, settle down for a year in Paris. There he immersed himself in the avant-garde and was fascinated by the work of the neo-impressionists, especially the luminists and fauvists. His academic, somewhat dark work gives way to light, colorful and cheerful canvases in an expressive touch, which show the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec, Signac, Seurat and, above all, of his fellow countryman Kees van Dongen. The subject will be impressions from daily life and nightlife. With loose brushstrokes and bright colors, Sluijters dynamically captures Parisian street and café life in works such as Femmes qui s'embrassent and Bal Tabarin. Sluijters admired the free use of color and the light effects of the Impressionist painters and he himself wanted nothing more than 'light painting'. However, his Paris work is not well received by the Prix de Rome jury and it costs him his scholarship because of the 'vulgarity' of the subjects. In the meantime, all this had earned him a lot of publicity and when he returned to Amsterdam at the end of 1906, he had already made a name for himself as a pioneer of Dutch modernism. Sluijters takes no notice of the fierce reactions of the critics - his paintings are often refused for exhibitions - and continues in search of new modernist forms of expression that he processes into his own, recognizable style. He goes outside and starts painting in the Amsterdam area, where many luminist landscapes and cityscapes were created in 1907-1908, which with their broad dots of bright, unmixed colors testify to the sensation of the light that Sluijters wanted to emphasize. This luminist work culminates in the paintings he makes in 1909-1910 in Heeze and Het Gooi, where he lives for longer periods with his new lover Greet van Cooten, after a divorce from Bertha, until the spring of 1911. Piet Mondrian is also experimenting with landscapes that are very similar to the landscapes of Sluijters in those years. Sluijters and Mondrian spend a lot of time together and at the 1908 St. Luca exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, the works of Sluijters hang fraternally next to those of Mondrian in one of the rear corner rooms.

After a visit to Paris in 1911, Sluijters briefly experiments with Cubism and his work shows the influence of Georges Braque and Vasily Kandinsky. Sluijters, however, decides not to follow the road to abstraction, but to devote himself entirely to the representation of visible reality. Together with Piet Mondriaan, Leo Gestel and Conrad Kickert, Cees Spoor and Jan Toorop, he founded the Moderne Kunstkring in 1910. This circle showed work by the foreign avant-garde in the Netherlands and thus responded to the traditionally set Arti et Amicitae.

Inspired by Vincent van Gogh's late work, Sluijters started painting his most abstract paintings in 1913-1914, the famous October suns and moon nights. Loose brushstrokes are replaced by larger, interlocking areas of color in blue, orange and soft violet and smooth contours. These works, which, with their non-naturalistic use of color and abstraction of forms, show great expressiveness, are considered to be the most modern of Sluijters' work. In these years, Sluijters also actively participates in club life in Amsterdam. He exhibits at the Moderne Kunstkring st. Lucas, where he is a member of the jury and several times clashes with the conservative society Arti et Amicitiae. In 1912 and 1913, retrospective exhibitions of his work are held in Rotterdam and The Hague and the public is slowly getting used to his work. In the summer of 1915 Sluijters stayed in Staphorst for a month. There he captures the farming village and its population without any sentiment. The portraits and landscapes he creates there, in dark, earthy colors and simplified forms, form a closed entity within his oeuvre.

In his free work, Sluijters mainly makes portraits of women, often naked. 'I also think it almost goes without saying that you paint more women than men. They are so much nicer to watch, 'said Sluijters. Appreciation for his work is growing steadily. He is now an established artist, with regular retrospective exhibitions at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum and he is invited to numerous juries and committees. In 1933 he is appointed Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau and wins the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris. In celebration of its sixtieth birthday, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is holding a retrospective exhibition.

The second part of Sluijter's painter's life, after 1920, was characterized by a moderately impressionist, figurative style. It was the time when he was considered the Netherlands' number one portrait painter and he painted numerous prominent fellow countrymen from academic circles, the music and theater world and the business community on commission. Piet Boendermaker and Willem Mengelberg let themselves be immortalized by him, among others. In addition, he often found his subjects in his immediate environment. In addition to portraits and nudes, he increasingly records the lives of his wife and children in his own living room. Sluijters liked a strict daily schedule: 'I work all day and in the afternoon I go to Arti to play billiards. I am a real grocer among my colleagues, not at all artistic '(De Groene Amsterdammer, 5/26/1928). From time to time he made a trip abroad and his immediate surroundings in Amsterdam also produced enough painting material.
'the whole world for my inspiration lies around this in a circle of twenty-five meters. I'm not traveling. Here I find everything I paint, my wife, my children, this furniture, a few vases and mugs - the flowers, yes, these cactus plants, and now and then a model '(Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, 24- 12-1927).

After a period of depression and illness during the Second World War, Sluijters hardly got round to painting. But after the war he quickly regains his cheerful élan and with it his use of color. He paints portraits of grandchildren and cheerful interiors, including the famous La joie de peindre from 1946. In 1956 he fell ill and died in the spring of 1957. Sluijters was buried from the Stedelijk Museum with great interest.

Sluijters, trained at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijs, has drawn throughout his life, but especially up to 1920. His caricatures were especially popular. He also made political prints during the First World War for the Nieuwe Amsterdammer. To him, it was not about political commitment, but about the narrative element that reflected the dramatic topicality of the war. Sluijters has not undergone a consistent development towards its own style, which also immediately indicates why Mondrian has become world famous and Sluijters not. Sluijters' credit is that he brought modernism and color and light to the Netherlands. As A. Loosjes-Terpstra said in her 1959 book 'Modern Art in the Netherlands, 1900-1914': 'Sluijters should not be seen as a follower, but as the one who was one of the first to open up new sources for Dutch art!'


previously for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Jan Sluijters


Jan Sluijters | A still life with poppies and daisies, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 58.6 cm, signed u.r. and on the stretcher and painted ca. 1924

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A still life with poppies and daisies

Jan Sluijters | Bathing women, oil on canvas laid down on painter's board, 25.8 x 20.7 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Bathing women

Jan Sluijters | A summer bouquet, oil on canvas, 90.7 x 71.3 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1947

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A summer bouquet

Jan Sluijters | Trees along a path in summer (probably near Heeze), oil on canvas, 54.2 x 42.9 cm, painted ca. 1909

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Trees along a path in summer (probably near Heeze)

Jan Sluijters | Colourful bouqet with daisies, oil on canvas, 50.6 x 65.6 cm, signed u.l. double signature

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Colourful bouqet with daisies

Jan Sluijters | Poppies in a vase, oil on canvas, 80.5 x 60.0 cm, signed u.l. and u.r. and painted ca. 1940

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Poppies in a vase

Jan Sluijters | A girl with a doll, oil on canvas, 100.0 x 40.4 cm, signed l.l. with monogram and dated '08

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A girl with a doll

Jan Sluijters | Flowers in a vase, oil on board, 29.5 x 34.9 cm, signed l.l. and ca. 1930

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Flowers in a vase

Jan Sluijters | Still life with pheasants, a tin jug and a dish, oil on canvas, 85.6 x 107.6 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Still life with pheasants, a tin jug and a dish

Jan Sluijters | A white cyclamen in a pot, oil on canvas, 56.5 x 46.5 cm, signed c.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A white cyclamen in a pot

Jan Sluijters | View on 'Het Rokin', from Arti (Amsterdam in the snow), oil on canvas, 95.8 x 128.3 cm, signed u.r. and dated 1922

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

View on 'Het Rokin', from Arti (Amsterdam in the snow)

Jan Sluijters | Colourful flowers, oil on canvas, 60.0 x 72.9 cm, signed u.r. and painted ca. 1948

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Colourful flowers

Jan Sluijters | Woman in a red vest, oil on canvas, 75.8 x 69.4 cm, signed u.r. and painted  1930's

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Woman in a red vest

Jan Sluijters | Spring flowers, oil on canvas, 117.2 x 106.8 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1925-1926

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Spring flowers

Jan Sluijters | Reclining nude, oil on canvas, 82.4 x 116.5 cm, signed u.r. and painted in 1936

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Reclining nude

Jan Sluijters | A summer bouquet in a vase, oil on canvas, 65.6 x 50.7 cm, signed u.r. and dated June '45

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A summer bouquet in a vase

Jan Sluijters | A woman in a red blouse, oil on canvas, 66.0 x 46.0 cm, signed l.l. and on the canvas on the reverse

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A woman in a red blouse

Jan Sluijters | Lady in a red dress, Paris, oil on canvas, 24.4 x 19.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted circa 1906

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Lady in a red dress, Paris

Jan Sluijters | Young woman with cigarette, oil on canvas, 79.5 x 61.0 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Young woman with cigarette

Jan Sluijters | A still life with poppies and daisies, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 58.6 cm, signed u.r. and on the reverse

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A still life with poppies and daisies

Jan Sluijters | A female nude, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 50.5 cm, signed u.r.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A female nude

Jan Sluijters | Kermesse à la Porte Maillot, Paris, oil on canvas, 35.0 x 27.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1906

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Kermesse à la Porte Maillot, Paris

Jan Sluijters | A pub, oil on canvas laid down on painter's board, 26.1 x 32.0 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A pub

Jan Sluijters | Café de nuit, oil on canvas laid down on painter's board, 39.5 x 23.1 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Café de nuit

Jan Sluijters | Elegant young lady with blue hat, oil on canvas, 107.5 x 72.0 cm, signed u.l. and dated 1912-1914

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Elegant young lady with blue hat

Jan Sluijters | Bunch of wildflowers, oil on canvas, 56.5 x 46.5 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

Bunch of wildflowers

Jan Sluijters | A flower still life, oil on canvas, 90.0 x 80.0 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

painting • previously for sale

A flower still life

Jan Sluijters | Nude, pencil and watercolour on paper, 22.5 x 30.0 cm, signed c.l. with initials

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Nude

Jan Sluijters | Two models on a sofa, pencil and watercolour on paper, 20.1 x 26.6 cm, signed u.l. and painted ca. 1920

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Two models on a sofa

Jan Sluijters | The afternoon-nap, pencil, chalk and watercolour on paper, 26.6 x 20.3 cm, signed l.c. and dated 15-7-07

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The afternoon-nap

Jan Sluijters | Elegant company in a snow-covered street, Paris, pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper, 15.4 x 21.5 cm, signed l.l. and to be dated ca. 1900

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Elegant company in a snow-covered street, Paris

Jan Sluijters | A country lane, Heeze, watercolour and gouache on paper, 18.5 x 27.5 cm, signed l.l. and executed ca. 1908-1909

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

A country lane, Heeze

Jan Sluijters | Female nude, standing, chalk and watercolour on paper, 31.0 x 20.5 cm, signed l.l. with initials

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Female nude, standing

Jan Sluijters | Underneath the umbrella, ink and chalk on paper, 26.0 x 18.0 cm, signed l.l.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Underneath the umbrella

Jan Sluijters | Women dancing, pencil, chalk and watercolour on paper, 26.2 x 20.4 cm, signed u.l. and dated '06

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Women dancing

Jan Sluijters | Town view, chalk and watercolour on paper, 18.5 x 20.0 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Town view

Jan Sluijters | A portrait of a girl, mixed media on paper, 66.0 x 52.0 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

A portrait of a girl


for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Jan Sluijters


Jan Sluijters | The boyer 'Fortuna', sailing to the wind, oil on canvas, 62.2 x 45.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1902

Jan Sluijters

painting • for sale

The boyer 'Fortuna', sailing to the wind, 1902

Jan Sluijters | Woman in a yellow blouse, oil on canvas, 57.4 x 42.0 cm, signed u.l. and painted ca. 1912

Jan Sluijters

painting • for sale

Woman in a yellow blouse, ca. 1912

Jan Sluijters | Seated nude with still life, oil on canvas, 116.7 x 140.3 cm, signed c.l. and painted ca. 1927

Jan Sluijters

painting • for sale

Seated nude with still life, ca. 1927

Jan Sluijters | View of Amsterdam, oil on canvas, 46.3 x 56.5 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1919

Jan Sluijters

painting • for sale

View of Amsterdam, ca. 1919

Jan Sluijters | Female nude, charcoal on paper, 25.0 x 50.0 cm, signed l.r. with initials and executed ca. 1943

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Female nude, ca. 1943

Jan Sluijters | Baby sucking thumb, pencil, coloured pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper, 34.3 x 46.3 cm, signed l.c.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Baby sucking thumb

Jan Sluijters | Landscape with hay sheaves, watercolour on paper, 34.0 x 44.0 cm, signed l.l. with monogram

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Landscape with hay sheaves

Jan Sluijters | Standing female nude, seen on the back, charcoal and watercolour on paper, 61.9 x 47.6 cm, signed l.c. with initials and executed ca. 1920

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Standing female nude, seen on the back, ca. 1920

Jan Sluijters | Sleeping baby, pencil and watercolour on paper, 46.5 x 58.5 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Sleeping baby

Jan Sluijters | Sleeping baby, black chalk and watercolour on paper, 43.3 x 55.1 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Sleeping baby

Jan Sluijters | Portrait of a baby, charcoal and chalk on paper, 29.0 x 25.3 cm, signed u.l.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Portrait of a baby

Jan Sluijters | A baby, charcoal and watercolour on paper, 37.0 x 27.2 cm, signed l.r.

Jan Sluijters

watercolour • drawing • for sale

A baby


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