Flowers for Mother

by Piers Evert

£25,000

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 30.0 x 24.0 in./76.2 x 60.96 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower left
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 4482 Categories: ,

This charming family scene is from the oeuvre of Dutch landscape and interior painter Evert Pieters. The painting shows a woman sitting by a window, holding a plump smiling baby in her lap. An older child sits on a stool in front of her, facing away from the viewer. This work is a lovely example of the idyllic scenes of country life that were favoured by the Barbizon school of painters in the late 19th Century. The baby and the little girl both hold out yellow wildflowers to their mother, more flowers sit in a jug on the window sill, and a blooming garden is hinted at through the window. The painting is filled with romantic symbols of a perfect countryside family life, such as the figures’ clogs, simple clothing and the basket of clean laundry on the floor.

Provenance

Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Evert Pieters was a turn of the century Dutch painter, known for delicate depictions of landscapes and interiors. Born in Amsterdam to a poor family, Pieters had to work from an early age. He had shown an aptitude for painting and was therefore apprenticed to a house painter. As a young man, he went to Antwerp in the hopes of finding a more lucrative career as a decorator. Whilst he was there, he studied at the Antwerp Academy in the evenings, under the painter Charles Verlat. Pieters eventually found a position in the workshop of well-known Realist and landscape painter Theodoor Verstraete, who was known as ‘the poet of rural life’ for his sensitive depictions of humble country people at work.

After his training, Pieters remained in Belgium and was able to work as a freelance painter, often taking commissions from private clients. His first great success was at the Exposition Universelle d’Anvers in 1885, where he sold several paintings and was generally well received. In the Second Exposition d’Anvers, in 1894, Pieters won a special medal for a painting of a field in Flanders. Around this time, he married, and moved to Paris. Like many artists at the time, Pieters travelled to the rural town of Barbizon in order to paint. Barbizon and the Forest of Fontainebleau were very popular subjects for Realist painters of the era, who later became known as the Barbizon school. Pieters was not firmly placed in this group, for his work was always more romantic and colourful. He painted still life and landscape scenes in the style of the Old Dutch Masters. In 1895, Pieters moved back to the Netherlands, with his family, and settled at Blaricum. Despite being married, he lead a Bohemian existence, and had many mistresses. He began painting interiors with figures and family scenes such as ‘Flowers for Mother,’ for which he had an aptitude, and these paintings became popular in the United States.

Shortly after 1900, he spent time in Italy. After that, he took more influence from the Impressionists and began to paint more romantic subject matter, especially flowers. In 1905, he moved to Katwijk aan Zee and was inspired by his coastal surroundings. Some years later, he moved to Laren and lived there until his sudden death during a taxi ride home from Baarn.

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