A Dutch Impressionist and a Swiss print maker, at Fondation Custodia

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Willem Bastiaan Tholen, Jetty in Enkhuizen, 1918, Private collection, © Photo P. den Ouden, Van den Dool Sliedrecht

Fondation Custodia is one of these research centers and precious gallery, which celebrate quality in art above all. This new exhibition is devoted to, a little known in France Dutch impressionist, Willem Bastiaan Tholen, (1860-1931). Downstairs, the director Ger Luitjen, uncovered late Swiss artist Gérard de Palézieux’ s life long career as a drawer and a print maker. Both shows are precious. 

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, “Selfportrait in a wood landscape”, 1895, Dordrechts Museum

Cocurated with the Dordrechts museum in the Netherlands, this show is the first dedicated to Willem Bastiaan Tholen in France. We visit the whole of Netherlands with its tiny villages, colorful harbors, canals and bridges which make it such a unique country. Influenced by the School of the Hague and impressionists from Amsterdam, the artist starts his career in Giethoorn, a ravishing village with waterways, two hours North East of Amsterdam, where everyone travels on boats.

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, “Church with its independent wooden bell tower”, Giethoorn, 1897, Private collection Dordrecht

He often paints there in the summer and delivers happy sunny paintings like the ones painted in Enkhuizen’s harbor. His landscapes become almost abstract and the framing of his canvases is really interesting.

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, “On the edge of the forest under a cloudy sky”, private collection

In 1885, Tholen spends time at his friend’s Willem Witsen‘ house in Ewijkshoeve, a family property set in a forest. Musicians, writers and artists meet there and discuss modern themes and urban topics, which he will undertake to paint later in the Hague. In 1901, he commissions a sail boat and travels on the Zuidersee and in Zeland. His views of boats and harbors are his most famous works.

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, “Boats in the harbor of Enkhuizen”, 1901, Private collection

Walking around this exhibition of one of Netherlands’ best 19 th century  artists, is like taking a magical tour of the country, so immersed in water and nature. It could be an introduction to a holiday in Holland.

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, “Little lane”, 1896, Groninger Museum, lent by J. B. Scholtenfonds

Downstairs,  Gérard de Palézieux’s  charming drawings, eau forte and watercolors are proof of what a great artist this discreet man was. He is  inspired by Giorgio Morandi, describes his country, Switzerland and Venice switching from landscapes to still life. A careful technician, he produced over 1 200 prints on copper or stone and a catalogue raisonné of his work was published.

Two peonies, Lavis on papier vergé ancien, Fondation William Cuendet & Atelier de Saint-Prex, Vevey

He died in 2012 and left all his collections to Musée Jenisch Vevey, the town where he was born. Ger Luitjen, director of the Custodia Foundation had decided with Peeter Schatborn from the Rijksprententkabinet to acquire some of his works, thus the exhibition in Paris after Amsterdam.

Palézieux, “Beans”, Fondation Cuendet & Atelier de Saint Prex, Vevey

Both exhibitions until December 15, Fondation Custodia, 121 rue de Lille, near the Assemblée Nationale.

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6 Comments on “A Dutch Impressionist and a Swiss print maker, at Fondation Custodia”

  1. What a beautiful duo exhibition. I so wish I could be in Paris to view the works of these superb artists.
    Merci for your post.

  2. Très beau LAURE . Nous regrettons beaucoup de ne pas pouvoir admirer ces expositions . Notre lointain pays ne nous permet pas de sauter la grande flaque tous les jours !! Grand dommage !!
    Merci pour tes blogs , Laure , et à bientôt.

  3. Merci Laure d’attirer l’attention sur le merveilleux Palézieux. On peut aussi recommander les deux beaux textes de Philippe Jaccottet sur lui, Remarques sur Palézieux, publiés chez Fata Morgana en 2005.

  4. Thank you for this article in which you pay attention to this exhibition! Willem Bastiaan Tholen is one of the painters from the so-called Haagse School. A lot of dutch impressionist painters we count in that group. For instance J.H. Weissenbruch, (which is my favorite) Willem Roelofs, Anton Mauve, the brothers Maris and many more.

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