Paul Joseph Constantin Gabrielartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanAmsterdam 1828-1903 Scheveningen
biography of Paul Joseph Constantin 'Constan(t)' Gabriel
Portrait of Paul Joseph Constantin 'Constan(t)' Gabriel
Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriel was the son of the then celebrated Amsterdam sculptor Paul Joseph Gabriel. It was therefore more or less self-evident that he would become an artist and at the age of 12 he attended the evening class at the Rijksacademie. After a failed apprenticeship with B. C. Koekkoek in Kleve - Gabriel would not have enough talent - and lessons from Cornelis Lieste in Haarlem, he went to Oosterbeek in 1853 to become a good landscape painter. Just like the other painters and his friend Anton Mauve, he practiced studying nature there. The story goes that in bad weather he worked for so long that he got ear infections and became deaf. In 1860 he moved to Brussels to try his luck there. He met Willem Roelofs, who had lived and worked in Brussels for some time and became a kind of teacher for him. In the following years Gabriel underwent enormous influence from the six-year-older Roelofs, as well as from the painters of the Barbizon School, whose work was regularly exhibited in Brussels.
it was Roelofs who took Gabriel on a painting tour in the Netherlands and opened his eyes to the beauty of the water-rich Dutch landscape. They may have visited Kortenhoef together for the first time. Lake and peat areas and polder landscape became Gabriel's specialty. He found a wealth of colors in this Dutch landscape, even when the weather was gray and gray. It is reflected in the intense blue that he often used for the sky, the many color nuances of the water, the colors of green in the meadow. In addition to working with color, simplicity and a balanced composition with strong forms are typical of Gabriel's landscapes. A mill, a barge, an eel trap, a fisherman, they were often the ingredients that he had enough.
From 1862, Gabriel returned to the Netherlands for at least three months each year to paint the polder landscape 'truthfully'. Just like the other painters of the Haagse School, he searched for the unadorned landscape, not yet affected by industrialization. First he found that around Veenendaal and in the Gein area, from the 70s in the ponds and peat areas around Abcoude and nearby Kortenhoef and from 1875 around the Nieuwkoopse Plassen. He must have had a good visual memory and, in his own words, he usually needed just one glance to work out his sketch in his studio, with the memory still fresh in his mind. His oil sketches were, just like those of Roelofs, of such high quality that they were often stuck on a panel later on and sold as a painting. One of Gabriel's most important students was Willem Tholen, who came to Brussels for three months in 1879 to get lessons. After that the master and pupil kept in touch. Gabriel went to Kampen for a few summers to stay with Tholen. Then they went into the peat bogs or worked around Giethoorn.
In 1884 Gabriel moved back to the Netherlands and settled near The Hague. The art climate there had become more favorable for 'modern' landscape painters and, moreover, his childhood friend Mauve lived in The Hague. Gabriel settled with his wife on the Kanaalweg in Scheveningen. He became an active member of Pulchri Studio and visited new areas, such as the Kinderdijk area. Also in Kortenhoef, a guest at Klaas Boom in the toll booth at the Zuwe, he continued to find the untouchedness he had been looking for throughout his painting life.