Pioneer of Street Photography
9 June to 16 September 2012 @ Kunsthal
The Dutch painter George Hendrik Breitner made thousands of photographs over a period of many years, but during his lifetime almost nobody realised this. Photography is something on which he rarely commented. In his day, it was frowned upon for artists to use photographs; the painter’s observation and invention were much more highly valued than the use of a camera as mechanical drawing aid. In his book a brief history of Dutch painting, published in the year Breitner died, the prominent critic Albert Plasschaert wrote about Breitner’s art: ‘in addition I believe that I can detect here and there the use of a camera (that danger)’.
The discovery that Breitner had been such a prolific photographer would not happen until nearly 40 years after his death. In 1961 the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague received the gift of almost 2000 negatives and 300 prints from Hein Siedenburg. These had been left to him by his father J.H.H. Siedenburg, who had died recently and had been the owner of Buffa and sons, the art gallery that represented Breitner in his final years.
LINK George Hendrik Breitner