Breitner and Sluijters, a tribute to women

This sale we offer beautiful works from these two famous Dutch artists, both originating from a private collection

Breitner’s work (lot number 4860) comes from a parental home in the Apollo neighborhood in Amsterdam and has been in the family for several generations.

The name Breitner needs little explanation. Works by this ‘master of Amsterdam’s ordinary life can be found in all leading Dutch museums. Breitner saw himself as the painter of the ordinary, the painter of the popular, le peintre du peuple.

His work is considered part of Dutch Impressionism. Often mentioned in the same breath as Isaac Israels, both are known for a realistic representation of reality. Painted with a smooth touch and in fact almost cheerful in appearance, despite the fact that the depicted does not have to be cheerful. Critics often call Breitner’s works ‘unfinished’. They are painted from intuition and that is precisely why they represent the everyday so well. In our opinion, Breitner stopped at exactly the right time. It is precisely that ‘unfinished’ character that attracts the eye and gives the work its liveliness and charm. The work we present in our Spring Sale is a good example of this. The two ladies, seated in front of a mirror, look at you with a look that won’t let go.
We offer several lot numbers from this family property, including a work by Lucebert (lot 5040). All documents from this entry can be found under  the Provenance: Een nalatenschap uit de Apollobuurt, Amsterdam.
The work of Jan Sluijters (lot number 4850) is a portrait of Gertrud Leistikow (1885 – 1948), a pioneer in the world of dance. She was a leading dancer and choreographer and laid the foundation for modern dance. ‘There is no dancer who has escaped her influence’, according to a reviewer from the 1930s.
In Amsterdam she performs in Carré, the city concert hall and in her favorite place, the city theatre. She was part of the Amsterdam Avant Garde. During her performances she dances with a mask designed by Hildo Krop, she drinks with poets; Bertolt Brecht even wrote a poem for her, and she served as a model for artists such as Else Berg and Jan Sluijters.
The portrait of Gertrud Leistikow by Jan Sluijters is incredibly colourful and cheerful. The posture is characteristic of Leistikow, improvising, asymmetrical and organic.