CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Paper dreams: drawings and prints 1850-1935

Gedroomd papier: tekeningen en prenten 1850-1935 Exhibition: 6 February - 12 September 2010

Information from the museum website, 23 January 2010

Paper dreams, which will exhibit 200 artworks from the museum collection, gives an overview of the art of drawing and print-making from the period 1850-1935. We see then an enormous increase in the appreciation of drawings and prints by the public and artists.

The second half of the 19th century saw a new generation of artists who turned away from prints which were exclusively made as reproductions of paintings and drawings. Engraving became especially popular because it is a versatile medium in the number of ways it can be used, and it allows the artist to sketch and ‘draw’ more freely.

Artist associations are established, which focused on drawing, engraving and watercolor painting, and the first exhibitions of drawings and prints are organized. Many artists meet in clubs or associations.
After 1900 there is a rapid succession of artistic trends, and interest, also in new graphic techniques, remains at a constant high. The introduction of new reproduction techniques also ensures that there is a broad dissemination of this art.

Many artists from this period dream of an ideal beauty or an ideal world, which they express in different ways.
An example is the work of Rodolphe Bresdin, Odilon Redon’s teacher, which is full of mysterious scenes, visions and dreams. The world of Matthijs Maris is one of fairylike, ghostly shapes and faces and enchanted landscapes. Jean-Fran├žois Millet idealized the simplicity of Nature and country life. Symbolists such as Jan Toorop and R.N. Roland Holst dreamt of an ideal society in which everyone is equal. Piet Mondriaan and Jacoba van Heemskerck were influenced by theosophy and anthroposophy, and by the aspiration towards an ideal, spiritualized World. Other artists, such as Herman Kruyder and Tinus van Doorn, dreamt of an unspoilt paradise.

Paper dreams not only offers insights into the development of drawing and print-making as art forms between 1850 and 1935, but it also reveals the numerous ways in which the artworks and artists are related. These connections are sometimes self-explanatory but they are often also surprising.

In addition to works by the above artists, the exhibition will be showing drawings, engravings, lithographs and woodcuts by George Hendrik Breitner, Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel, Charley Toorop, Jan Mankes, Dick Ket, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, Carel Willink and many more.

Most of the works were donated in 1993 to the museum by Karel Levisson (1917-1999), founder of the Association of Friends of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe.

Publication

Gedroomd papier, tekeningen en prenten 1850-1935
Ton Geerts
Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe) 2010