Claude Monet’s original painting The Voorzaan and The Westerhem is temporarily on loan for the exhibition Claude Monet: Journey to Series Paintings in Japan, which brings together more than 60 works by Monet from around the world.
Art from the Zaan Region
The permanent collection at the Zaans Museum contains historic, modern, and contemporary works by various artists who drew their inspiration from the Zaan Region.
Regularly, you will find a new display of artworks in Art from the Zaan Region from the Zaan Museum’s permanent collection.
The painting De Voorzaan and the Westerhem by the world famous French painter Claude Monet is the showpiece of the exhibition.
At the exhibition, you will see a number of still life paintings including a colourful work by Jan Verkade, ‘Still life with pomegranates and flowers in a vase.’
Since ancient times, painters have used still life painting to improve their skills. They practised with different textures and materials. From the 17th century, the genre continued to gain popularity in the Netherlands.
Jan Verkade, who was part of the circle of artists around Paul Gauguin and a member of the French artist group Les Nabis, took a very different approach to still life painting. He did not paint what he observed in the moment, but what he remembered. He painted this still life of pomegranates and asters several times, each time with subtle differences.
Two portraits – a painting by Cees Bolding and the other by photographer Robin de Puy – hang next to each other in the exhibition. Both show two children: Cees Bolding’s painting is dated 1916, while the photograph of brothers Saker and Ali by Robin de Puy was taken more than one hundred years later in 2020. While Bolding made the children pose for his work, De Puy chose not to do that.
Portrait photographer Robin de Puy works all over the world. As she could not travel in 2020 due to the pandemic, she started taking portrait photos of people in her local area. During this time, she met Syrian brothers Saker and Ali. She photographed them a number of times in a way that was as natural as possible.
Lucy and her brother Jantje had to take refuge in another city during the Second World War. They moved for a while with their parents to Scheveningen, where it was safer. Their neighbour in Scheveningen was the Zaans painter Cees Bolding, and he asked whether he could paint their portraits. This way they could also earn a bit of extra money. Look closely and you will see a coat that is too big and scuffed shoes – these were not wealthy children. With this painting of children in a new day-to-day reality, Cees Bolding was looking for the ‘ordinary’ that was extraordinary in his eyes.
On display in the exhibition, a self-portrait by Jacob Taanman is particularly exceptional.
The use of light shining from the side is remarkable in this self-portrait, bathing the top of his head and highlighting his beard. It looks as if it could keep you warm. It is possible that Jacob Taanman was inspired by Rembrandt’s early work, who played with light the same way.
Whilst Taanman’s contemporaries, such as Jozef Israëls and Jacob Maris or Claude Monet, were turning their backs on the established way of painting, he chose to work in a popular, more romantic style. His portraits and historically inspired works of art gained him favour among high society, including the royal family.
The Hembrug Museum tells the story of the arms and ammunition factory that was located on the Hembrugterrein in Zaandam.