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Romantic Neuhuys

Romantic Neuhuys - Lyklema Fine Art

Albert Neuhuys (Utrecht 1844-1914 Locarno) had a significant influence on the Laren School, particularly in portraying the rural interiors of the Gooi region. He, alongside Jozef Israëls, was instrumental in discovering the village of Laren. Trained at the Antwerp Academy, Neuhuys initially embraced a romantic style, but around 1875, under the influence of Jacob Maris, he transitioned to a more moderate impressionistic approach.

His father, initially resistant to Albert's desire to become a painter, found it excessive with three other sons pursuing artistic paths. Albert found employment in a lithography studio in Utrecht after the family's financial struggles. When the studio went bankrupt, he sought new avenues that eventually led to his desired art education.

Neuhuys received training at the Utrecht City School of Drawing and Architecture, followed by four years of evening courses at the Antwerp Academy starting from 1868. Upon returning to the Netherlands, he initially resided in Amsterdam, focusing on painting historical scenes, portraits, and interiors.

In 1872, he moved to The Hague with his wife Neeltje, ten years his junior. Neuhuys found inspiration in and around the fishing village of Scheveningen, depicting romantic couples walking, reclining in dunes, or conversing by a window. His painting of a young couple in love exhibited at the "Leevende Meesters" exhibition in Amsterdam in 1880 was a great success.

In 1883, following Jozef Israëls, Neuhuys moved to picturesque Laren, residing in the house next to Anton Mauve. Amidst the rise of industry, Neuhuys and his contemporaries sought unspoiled natural settings. His interiors shifted from affluent urban dwellings to depictions of local farmers in Laren's traditional attire—plump and rosy-cheeked farm women and spinners, with content and well-fed children. He developed a moderate impressionistic painting style but refrained from the vigorous and active dramatization typical of impressionism, opting not to overly accentuate the realities of life.

In 1900, Neuhuys relocated to Amsterdam, then the cultural hub of the country, but continued to visit Laren regularly to create his renowned interiors. Despite his earlier travels across Europe, it wasn't until 1904 that he gained recognition in the Netherlands, which brought him considerable success. His works became so popular that copies were sold abroad as genuine Neuhuys originals.

Between 1904 and 1910, he made several trips to the United States, where he was warmly received due to the popularity of his interior scenes. After moving to Locarno in 1914, he passed away suddenly. Arti et Amicitae honored him with a grand memorial exhibition, and a road in Laren was named after him.



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