Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a field for the connoisseur

by illustrator Edgard Farasyn
      The correspondent of the New York Tribune gave Holland its due when he said, "The exhibit of that country in the Art Building here is in the very forefront of contemporary painting. The three rooms full of oil-paintings, and the two alcoves hung with water-colors, are among the places at the Fair where there is most pleasure of an artistic sort to be encountered."
      Among the most prominent of Dutch modern painters are Josef Israels, Mesdag, Blommers, Mauve, Artz; among the famous Belgians, Jan Van Beers, Courtens, Jan Verkas, and Edgard Farasyn.
The artists of the Netherlands have inauguarated a new movement so full of color and tone that the tide of art students is turning form France and setting toward the Low Countries.
      But it is not alone in color that the Dutch and Belgian artists excel. The lines of character which interested Rembrandt are repeated in the faces of the people to-day, and their painters are noted for their sympathy and sentiment as well as for their forceful rendering of character. One of the noblest and most touching paintings at the Fair was Israels' "Alone in the World" -- a peasant seated, grief and wonder-stricken, beside his dead wife. Neuhuys, from his love of child-life, might be called the Edward Frere of Holland. Blommers has as much sympathy, though perhaps not so much sentiment, as Mauve, who was the Dutch Millet.
       Belgium is nearer to Paris, her artists are more influenced by the Parisian leaven, but Edgard Farasyn is both original and true to his nationality. His Antwerp types are very chracteristic, and form the illustrations for this article. His "Old Sailor" recalls the fact that many of his pictures have been suggested by scenes at the wharves of Antwerp. His World's Fair picture, "Emigrants Embarking at Antwerp," was a noble painting. The bustle, the confusion of departure, the shouting sailors, the dazed look in the faces of the emigrants, the pathos of grief in the parting of a husband and wife, are all depicted with a masterly hand. The young workman leaning on the trestle in another of our sketches might have been standing on the quay watching this embarkation, for his face is full of unutterable things, the desperation of life of toil predominating. They are all toilers; the milk-seller, with her bright brazen can, the stolid market-woman, and the patient donkeys.
      These last remind us of the same subject painted by Verhas, and entitled "The Martyrs of the Watering-Place."
      Farasyn resides in Antwerp, but he has been a wide traveler and has won honors in foreign lands, having been twice medalled in Australia and at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.Visitors to Antwerp may remember his "Fish Markets of Antwerp" in the museum of that city. In view of these suggestive facts have we not, in the modern art of the Netherlands, a field which Americans generally have not sufficiently studied and enjoyed? by Elizabeth Champney, Quarterly Illustrator
by illustrator Edgard Farasyn

by illustrator Edgard Farasyn

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