Discover Benelux, Issue 64, April 2019

Page 90

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Noord-Veluws Museum

Arthur Briët, the Rembrandt of the Veluwe TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: NOORD-VELUWS MUSEUM

Up until 29 September, the Noord-Veluws Museum shall be pointing its spotlights on its local master, Arthur Briët. While born in Java, his life path took him through Belgium, Italy and France, before he settled amid the inspiring sceneries of the Veluwe. During the late 19th-century, the picturesque village of Nunspeet became a colony for artists looking for new inspiration. The village welcomed over 200 creative wanderers. Among them, was painter Arthur Briët. “Briët was the most gifted of them all,” says Margot Jongedijk, curator of the Noord-Veluws Museum. “He made portraits, landscapes, interiors… and excelled in all those disciplines.” Since he often used clair-obscur and mixed naturalistic brushstrokes with impressionistic ones, some call him ‘the Rembrandt of the Veluwe’. “When visitors see his work in our museum, they often tell us that the similarity with Rembrandt’s work is uncanny.”

In Nunspeet, the painter fell in love with the small and simple working class homes. As an expert in painting interior settings, these humble one-room homes became the scene of many a canvas. “This fascination was purely aesthetic, rather than being about social engagement. Frankly, he did not even like to go to these houses since the residents tended to move around furniture and objects, disturbing his work. Therefore, he built one of these tiny buildings in his own yard, allowing him to work in perfect circumstances.” Although Briët’s

name is not widely known, his art and life are both captivating. “The Noord-Veluws Museum is the ideal place to discover the rich past of the artists’ village of Nunspeet.”

LEFT: Meisje met geit in graanveld, Arthur Briët, oil on canvas, collection Westfries Museum. RIGHT: Interieur van de schildershut van de kunstenaar in Nunspeet, Arthur Briët, oil on canvas, collection Noord Veluws Museum