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This bright watercolour of Freek van den Berg depicts the harbor of Palavas in the South of France. A tranquil composition, emphasizing the stillness of the water and the peacefulness of the boats bobbing gently at anchor.
Signed lower left
Image Size 52 x 71 cm
Framed 69 x 88 cm.
Provenance: Dienst Verspreide Rijkscollecties, inv./cat.nr. SZ53477
'The Kees van Dongen van Kattenburg' was often referred to as 'the Dutch fauvist' Freek van den Berg. But although Van den Berg's work shows kinship with Fauvism, he also felt connected to French Impressionism and German Expressionism. The fact that the born and raised Amsterdammer paints like a fauve fits perfectly with his character and zest for life. He is a born painter and was mainly self-taught. He did, however, receive lessons from artist Frits Giltay for some time and advice from Han van DamIn 1937 Freek meets the painter Kees van Dongen, who invites him to his exhibition at the Amsterdam art dealership Buffa. Fauvism was still relatively unknown in the Netherlands and Freek was deeply moved by Van Dongen's use of colour. After the war, Freek went to Paris where he visited exhibitions and was inspired by the colors and design of painters such as Derain, De Vlaminck and Matisse. Already at the age of twenty he becomes a member of 'De Independents' where he works with painters such as Harry Kuyten and Kees Maks. He mainly paints landscapes, portraits and, above all, elegant women. To support himself, he works as an art critic for Het Vrije Volk, Het Parool and Vrij Nederland. In the early 1960s he painted exuberant coloristic sets for Opera Forum. During this period he makes many paintings and watercolors on the theme of the revue ladies of My Fair Lady.Freek makes several trips to Chatou and Collioure, the birthplace of Fauvism. In 1985 he leaves Amsterdam and settles on the Veluwe in Veessen, which is located on the IJssel. In his Amsterdam period he paints expressively, later tending more towards Impressionism, but also in Veessen he continues to use the unmistakable color palette of 'the wild beasts'; it does become lighter in tone and brighter. For many years he was a loyal exhibitor in Kunstzaal Hamdorff in Laren. In 1998, on his 80th birthday, the monograph Freek van den Berg, "life with color" was published.
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