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Wim Schuhmacher

Still Life with Bittern in a Winter Landscape, 1941

Wim Schuhmacher (1894-1986) was living in Paris on the eve of the Second World War. He decided to return to the Netherlands under the threat of the outbreak of the war. Schuhmacher settled in a wooden church in Landsmeer, where he painted this still life. There is little life to be discovered in it, ... as is emphasized by the bare branch running parallel to the shape of the unusual bird in the icy landscape. Though barely visible, the striking (high) horizon nevertheless gives the work some depth. Photographer Eva Besnyö (1910-2003) recorded the artist beginning to work on this painting: Schuhmacher stands behind the easel with a cigarette in his mouth, the bittern and a few branches are arranged on a table covered with a white cloth. Wim Schuhmacher and the artist Raoul Hynckes (1893-1973) became famous as Neorealist painters. They both also liked to use skulls and dead animals in their still lifes. One major difference, however, is the light. Whereas Hynckes often used a theatrical lighting with a strong light-dark contrast, Schuhmacher’s work is often enveloped in a mystical and diffuse light lending it a certain ethereal quality. Text: Myrthe Wesseling, guide and museum host
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Wim Schuhmacher
Still Life with Bittern in a Winter Landscape
Oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© Wilma Schuhmacher

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