In the first half of the nineteenth century the Dutch painter Cornelis Kruseman (1797-1857) was a famous artist. His genre-paintings, portraits, religious works and historical scenes received a lot of attention, be it praise or criticism. His work was bought by collectors from the highest circles. He received many commissions alongside, ranging from biblical scenes to formal portraits.
In the beginning of his career he was, like many of his contemporaries, a follower of the seventeenth century Dutch masters. However, after his first visit to Italy from 1821 to1825 he changed his style, starting to paint in a somewhat post-classical, rather un-Dutch, way of painting. He developed a tendency towards pure line and ideal beauty using somewhat strong contours and vibrant colours.
Kruseman was unique in so far that he was one of the few Dutch artists of his generation to make the trip to Italy. The influences he underwent during this ‘Grand Tour’ changed his style, choice of subject matter and conception of art. He was inspired by great Italian artists such as Raphael and Michelangelo. But he was also profoundly impressed by the colourfully dressed locals. He used them frequently as models to populate his genre- and religious paintings.
Later in life he would make several more study trips: for example he stayed in Rome in the forties for a second large period of time to work on a commission for King Willem II of The Netherlands. During these travels he also frequented the studios of many of his famous contemporaries such as Jacques Louis David, Horace Vernet, Jean Baptiste Isabey and Ary Scheffer.
The RKD, in close collaboration with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Cornelis Kruseman-J.M.C. Ising foundation, has started research on the oeuvre of the Dutch painter Cornelis Kruseman (1797-1857). The publication of a digital catalogue raisonnée of his paintings, and the works connected with them, is expected to appear in 2013. At the same time the RKD intends to organize an exhibition and a publication, planned for 2016.
Within that frame, the RKD is searching for works (paintings, works on paper, works after the artist, copies etc.) by and documentation (letters, photo’s, archives etc.) on Cornelis Kruseman.
If you have any information on the subject, please contact Eva Geudeker. All information will naturally be treated with the utmost discretion and your privacy will be honoured.
Eva Geudeker MA LLM
Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie RKD / Netherlands Institute for Art History
Prins Willem Alexanderhof 5
PO Box 90418
2509 LK Den Haag NL
tel 00 31 70 333 97 86
fax 00 31 70 333 97 89