Anthonij (Anton) Rudolf Mauve (18
September 1838 Ė 5 February 1888) was a Dutch realist painter who
was a leading member of the Hague School. He signed his paintings
'A. Mauve' or with a monogrammed 'A.M.'. A master colorist, he was a
very significant early influence on his cousin-in-law Vincent van
Most of Mauve's work depicts people
and animals in outdoor settings. In his Morning Ride in the
Rijksmuseum, for example, fashionable equestrians at the seacoast
are seen riding away from the viewer. An unconventional detail,
horse droppings in the foreground, attests his commitment to
His best known paintings depict
peasants working in the fields. His paintings of flocks of sheep
were especially popular with American patrons, so popular indeed
that a price differential developed between scenes of "sheep coming"
and "sheep going".
Life and work
Anton Mauve was born on 18 September 1838 in Zaandam, a town in the
Dutch province of North Holland. A year after his birth, his father
Willem Carel Mauve, a Mennonite chaplain, was sent to Haarlem, the
capital city of the province where Mauve grew up.
He was apprenticed to the painter
Pieter Frederik van Os followed by Wouter Verschuur. In his further
development he worked with Paul GabriŽl, painting from nature, and
they regularly stayed and worked together at Oosterbeek, the 'Dutch
Barbizon'. He was a friend of Jozef IsraŽls and Willem Maris.
In 1872 Mauve settled in The Hague
where he became a leading member of the Hague School of painters and
one of the founders of the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij in 1876,
as well as playing a leading role in the development of the Pulchri
Studio, The Hague's most influential art society at the time.
In the last two years of his life
Mauve settled in the village of Laren in the region surrounding
Hilversum called het Gooi. The group of painters who settled there,
including Jozef IsraŽls and Albert Neuhuys, came to be known
collectively as the Larense School and the region around het Gooi
was dubbed 'Mauve land' as far afield as the United States. Mauve
will have influenced many other painters one of whom was the
Scottish painter, Robert McGregor (1847-1922).
Mauve died suddenly in Arnhem on 5
Relationship with Vincent van
Mauve was married to van Gogh's cousin AriŽtte (Jet) Sophia
Jeannette Carbentus, and he was a major influence on van Gogh, who
revered him. He is mentioned, directly or indirectly, in 152 of van
Gogh's surviving letters. A comparative table of number of letters
mentioning his most significant influences is shown in the table.
Van Gogh spent three weeks at
Mauve's studio at the end of 1881 and during that time he made his
first experiments in painting under Mauve's tutelage, first in oils
and then early the next year in watercolour (previously he had
concentrated on drawing). Mauve continued to encourage him and lent
him money to rent and furnish a studio, but later grew cold towards
him and did not return a number of letters.
In a letter to his brother Theo van
Gogh dated 7 May 1882, van Gogh describes "a very regrettable
conversation" in which Mauve told him their association was "over
and done with" adding by way of explanation that van Gogh had a
vicious character. Van Gogh continued his letter by expressing his
sorrow, and then launches defiantly into a passionate defence of his
relationship with Clasina (Sien) Maria Hoornik, a pregnant
prostitute he had befriended.
People suspect me of
something... itís in the air... I must be hiding something...
Vincent is keeping something back that may not be divulged.. Well,
gentlemen, Iíll tell you Ė you who set great store by manners and
culture, and rightly so, provided itís the real thing Ė what is more
cultured, more sensitive, more manly: to forsake a woman or to take
on a forsaken one?
The reality was that they were
lovers. The presumption must be that Mauve had heard of the
relationship (although van Gogh's letter does not say so expressly)
and broke off the association because of it. However, their
relationship had already become strained by late January.
Nevertheless, van Gogh continued to hold Mauve in very high esteem
and dedicated one of his most iconic paintings to Mauve's memory
after hearing of his sudden death.
Now here, for instance, at this
moment, I have 6 paintings of blossoming fruit trees. And the one I
brought home today would possibly appeal to you ó itís a dug-over
patch of ground in an orchard, a wicker fence and two peach trees in
full bloom, pink against a sparkling blue sky with white clouds and
in sunshine. You may well see it, since Iíve decided to send this
one to Jet Mauve. Iíve written on it 'Souvenir de Mauve Vincent &
Mauve's mother Elisabeth Margaretha
Hirschig was a first cousin twice removed of Anton Hirschig, the
young Dutch artist who was a fellow lodger with van Gogh at the
Auberge Ravoux at the time of van Gogh's death.
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