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Jan van Tongeren

Still Life with a Mortar, 1943

On the table are several objects varying in material and colour. The composition is studied and balanced, almost photo-realistic. The yellow-brown ground and the brown cardboard match the copper-coloured mortar and pestle. The draped cloth, the bottle, and the bowl are all painted in shades of white ... . The silver spoon and the blue paper match the grey background. Jan van Tongeren (1897-1991) saw the beauty in ‘the appearance of things’ since his childhood. Some people ascribed a supernatural quality to his carefully chosen objects, but Van Tongeren deliberately denied giving them any such meaning. Van Tongeren studied at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers in Amsterdam (1921-1924), after which he worked as an independent painter in Amsterdam, Gelderland, and Limburg. He was also a drawing and painting instructor for no less than 33 years at the National Institute for the Training of Drawing Teachers in Amsterdam. Text: Myrthe Wesseling, guide and museum host
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Jan van Tongeren
Still Life with a Mortar
Oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm (h x w)
Type of object

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