Jan van Tongeren (1897-1991) excelled in the rendering of textures and materials in his paintings. This was remarkable given that he had only taken drawing lessons at the Rijksnormaalschool in Amsterdam and was a self-taught painter. The smooth, refined manner of painting and the near photographic r...ealism were in keeping with Neorealism. Van Tongeren initially worked in an impressionistic manner. ‘But at a certain moment I was no longer in my element. […] The work of Raoul Hynckes, Dick Ket, Pyke Koch, Carel Willink appealed to me more. The intensity of their work, that intrigued me.’
In Still Life with Green Cabbage, you look at the objects at an angle from above. This unusual viewpoint is typical of this period in visual art and was also used in film and photography. The slanting (high) perspective is also found in the work of Van Tongeren’s friend and fellow painter Dick Ket (1902-1940). In addition, the various textures in this still life are almost tangible: the glassy, almost transparent onion on the left, the crumpled newspaper, and the damask tablecloth with its crisp folds, all worked out to perfection.
Text: Myrthe Wesseling, guide and museum host
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Jan van Tongeren
Still Life with Green Cabbage
Oil on canvas
50 x 64 cm (h x w)
Type of object
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