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George Hendrik Breitner - Dutch Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - George Hendrik Breitner (1857 - 1923)

George Hendrik Breitner was born in Rotterdam and first studied in The Hague. His early work primarily depicted military and cavalry subjects. After visiting Paris in 1884, his work took on an Impressionist approach. Two years later, Breitner moved to Amsterdam where he painted his famous harbor scenes, cityscapes, and scenes of street life. He also took an interest in photography. In 1910, illness forced him to abandon painting. Although Breitner exhibited abroad early on, his fame never crossed the borders of the Netherlands. At the time foreign interest was more for anecdotal and picturesque works; the typical "Dutchness" of the Hague School. As time went by critics lost interest in Breitner. The younger generation regarded impressionism as too superficial. They aspired to a more elevated and spiritual form of art, but Breitner did not allow himself to be influenced by these new artistic trends. Breitner has also the honours of being one of the few Dutch painters who is being referred to in a Dutch saying in Amsterdam: when the streets of Amsterdam are grey and rainy, people of Amsterdam whisper grimly "Echt Breitnerweer" (Typical Breitnerweather).

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