‘Het witte spook van Mesdag’. De bruid van Matthijs Maris opnieuw bezien’

R.W.A. Bionda

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Bride (1867-'68) by Matthijs Maris in The Mesdag Collection is without doubt one of his most intriguing early works. Though he defensively described it as only a 'sketch' which he could not bring to a satisfying end, Maris considered this fairly large piece as quite important. Regardless of its condition, it formed a blatant statement next to another painting by his hand in Mesdags collection: The Kitchen Maid. In the early seventies Maris sold this much acclaimed, more narratively accessible painting to his Paris dealer Goupil &Cie., but soon afterwards dismissed it as a 'potboiler'. Much later, when living in London, he said: 'What connection is there between the sketch of the girl in white &the keukenprinces? The one may be bad, but is myself, the other the model'. What he aspired to was an art less realistic than Dutch contemporary art at that time: an art which would convey a 'conception' or a deeper 'thought', in his own words - a goal most probably inspired and encouraged by the fierce theoretical discussions on originality and individualism in those days. Maris shared Carel Vosmaer's claim that artists should prioritize their own feelings and ideas; good art always rested on a 'transformation of reality, mediated by the imagination'.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)198-214
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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