Domburg Closer-Up

Opening July, 18th 2020


Marie tak van Poortvliet Museum
Ooststraat 10a, 4357 BE Domburg


1. The Gallery:

In The Gallery the artists are paramount who connect The Animation of Lisette with Domburg Closer-Up. There the relevant classical artists can be seen in their relation to each other, in photo’s, drawings and graphic works.


Jan Toorop and Piet Mondriaan do not only form the centre of the animations, in The Gallery they set the scene as well. In 1896 Toorop visited Domburg for the first time. Between 1903 and 1922 he would stay there almost every year for a longer or shorter period. He was dearly befriended with the families Drabbe and Elout, and worked in his early Domburg period frequently in the open with Mies (Elout-)Drabbe, for instance in de Manteling. Thus around 1900, the beautiful drawing Vijver met zwaan in het bosch (Pond with Swan in the forest) by Mies came into being. These fascinating woods also inspired Mondrian and Jacoba van Heemskerck. The atmosphere’s impression they gave, is nowadays inter alia reflected in the graphic work of Krisztián Horváth.


Through her marriage to mayor’s son Paul Elout, who was appointed director of the Domburgsche Zeebadinrichting in 1903, Mies Elout was acquainted with the ins and outs of Domburg and its bathing guests. Together with Toorop she naturally would become the centre of the artists’ colony. In the beginning, Toorop came with his wife Annie and their daughter Charley, later with his friend Miek Janssen. She was the owner of the small drawing Bootjes langs de kust bij Domburg (Small boats along the Domburg coast), which via the USA now has returned to The Netherlands and can be seen in The Hall. In The Gallery photos are on show, which depict the friendship in particular between the Drabbe Family and Toorop. During his last visits to Domburg, Toorop often stayed with the Elout family in their Noordzeehuis on the ‘Boulevard’ of Domburg. There he drew among other things De Harpspeelsters (The Harpists), of which a print was made in charcoal or gum.


Piet Mondrian is on show in very differing photos from the periods he spent in Domburg. Among them the photo of a portrait painted by Mies Elout in 1915, which made the art-critic Bram Hammacher describe Mondrian as ‘a bit of a priest and a dandy.’ In those days Piet Mondrian lodged with Bine de Sitter in the Zuidstraat in Domburg. Bine was a childhood friend of Mies Elout. Mondrian could stay in her house for a long time during 1914-1915, because Bine was not there. Due to World War I, he could not return to Paris, where he officially lived since 1912. Now and then Mondrian went for a walk along the seaside with Mies Elout, sketchbook at hand. Scribbles formed, described by Mies Elout as ‘every day a bit further from reality and closer to the spiritual core of it.’ Mies owned several works by Mondrian, for instance Boom II (Tree II) and a study for De grijze boom (The grey tree).


Together with Bine de Sitter she was taking care of the young upcoming artist Paul Schultze, who painted both of them frequently. In The Gallery one can see him on the veranda of Bine’s place, flanked by a portrait drawing with a cubist touch of Bine, and a decorative woodcut, showing Mies at the piano.


Maurice Góth enriched Domburg with an outlandish element with the first painting he showed at the Domburgsche Tentoonstelling of 1915. The year before he had come to Domburg with his wife and daughter, at the suggestion of Jan Toorop. Fleeing the violence of warfare in Belgium – where they spent the summer – he had met Toorop in Middelburg. In The Gallery, Maurice Góth is present with the photo of a self-portrait, which he sketched in New York in 1913, as well as with a photo on which he is seen painting on the beach of Domburg around 1920.


The village itself, at last, can be found in the eldest works in The Gallery, representing a farm by Graadt van Roggen and village houses by Toorop.


In the Niche, at the entrance of the room, Jozef Posenaer is exhibited. He is one of the Belgian refugees, who spent much of World War I in Domburg. His Strandhuisjes te Domburg (Beach Cabines in Domburg)are part of the paintings, which have the beach and the dunes as a common theme. He is also present with a painting by night of a famous mansion, rendering the border of the sea, dunes and village.


2. The Hall:

With the bluish colours of the sea in the background, the walls of the hall, of which Lisette’s designs form the central part, show paintings and drawings of the sea and the beach near Domburg. Against the beige colour of sand, paintings are to be seen of the beach and the dunes, and against the greenish of the Manteling, impressions of this mysterious forest, the village and the landscape of Zeeland are on view.


Domburg is presented there as a classical and as a contemporary Artists’ Colony. The paintings of Jan Toorop, Piet Mondrian (repro’s), Mies Elout-Drabbe, Jacoba van Heemskerck, Maurice Góth, Willem de Famars Testas, Job Graadt van Roggen, Paul Schultze, Paul Arntzenius, Geert von Brucken Fock, Emmanuel Viérin and Jozef Posenaer are shown next to those of Yuri Pervushin, Conny Umbgrove, José Eidelman, Krisztián Horváth, Otie van Vloten, Silvester Peperkamp, Michiel Paalvast and Kirill Datsouk, which are centred round the same themes: the sea, the beach, the dunes, the Manteling- forest, the village and Domburg’s surroundings.


Among the seascapes a melancholy Toorop next to contemporary typical impressions of the beach with breakwaters, the sea and the beach of the Russian Yuri Pervushin, the Dutch Conny Umbgrove and the Argentinian José Eidelman. Then Toorop’s Bootjes langs de kust bij Domburg (Small boats along the Domburg coast) and Krisztián Horváth’s painting Zee bij zonsondergang (Sea at Sunset), which clearly was influenced by Mondrian. Silvester Peperkamp is present with contemporary Beach scenes and next to Góth’s Moon night full of character and Posenaer’s Nightly impression follows, at the end of the row, Mies Elout’s Bevroren Zee (Frozen Sea), in which she exceeded herself and in which Mondrian’s influence may so clearly be recognized.


Viérin’s large canvas Domburg in de herfst (Domburg in the Fall), recently acquired by the MTVP Museum, was created in 1918. The small Beach scene next to it, Góth painted in 1926 and Paul Arntzenius’ Badkoetsjes op het Domburgse strand (Bathing Machines on the Domburg Beach) dates from 1936; surprisingly for those days, it already shows a shower on the beach. Then Góth’s ‘classic’ painting Strandbeeld (Beach Scene), that in 1915 caused such a sensation with its high horizon, plus a dune landscape by him, which he once gave Domburg’s ‘Meester (Master) Romijn’ as a thank-you for Dutch lessons. An oil of a lee in the dune area by Horváth is followed by a painting of practically the same area towards Oranjezon by Otie van Vloten.


The Mantelingen-row starts with a tree by Horváth and the composition Bosweg (Forest Road) by Jacoba van Heemskerck. A bit further on, it once more is apparent that Jacoba van Heemskerck has found her own way and lets the line and then the forms and colours set the scene. So does Krisztán Horváth, and again in a very personal way. A sunny impression of the woods by Mies Elout shows them from a different side. Paul Schultze is still in his experimental phase with a scurrying Diana and Góth places his wife Ada on a bench in a leafy setting. Geert von Brucken Fock adds some wind gusts and divergent trees. With Michiel Paalvast the mystery seems to come forward; worlds lie hidden in his colourful Mantelingen-painting. Mies Elout’s Fête in Domburg may have been a tribute to the renowned physician Dr. Mezger, who celebrated his 70thanniversary in Domburg in September 1908. The village itself is also represented by Willem de Famars Testas, an Orientalist, who frequented Domburg, painting there for instance in 1876. The Russian Kirill Datsouk immortalizes a Domburg House, where he often stayed. This array ends with the Zeeland countryside in the sheaves of Paul Arntzenius and the farm workers by Paul Schultze.


The final chord is – again – for Krisztián Horváth and for Piet Mondrian’s Dune landscape from 1911.

Site Plan Domburg