Jan Wittenberg (1886-1963)
Oil on canvas on panel
Signed and dated 1951 in the upper right corner
Dimensions: 17.6 x 23.8 cm
Frame: 24 x 32 cm (original frame)
Very good, in original state
Private collection of Mr. Kuyper Leiden (purchased directly from the artist. Source: Jan Wittenberg archive),
Private collection of Mr. F. Kuyper & sculptor Gerda van den Bosch Leiden,
Private collection Leiden.
Jan Hendrik Wittenberg, born in The Hague on January 30, 1886, harbored the dream of becoming a painter from a young age. Despite initial opposition from his parents, who wanted to secure a position for him as the youngest clerk in a tax office, Wittenberg steadfastly chose the path of an artist. His artistic journey began with evening classes at the Hague Academy, where he mastered the art of drawing from plaster models.
In 1908, Wittenberg enriched his talent during a six-month period in Floris Arntzenius's studio and returned to the Hague Academy, although he did not complete the entire program. After a journey that took him to Zierikzee and Dordrecht, he met his wife Maria van den Kieboom and settled in Rhoon near Rotterdam in 1916. From 1920, he shared his knowledge as a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, a position he resigned from in 1927 to fully devote himself to his own work.
Wittenberg developed into a skilled painter in the style of New Objectivity with a preference for small, intimate works, especially focused on animals and still lifes. His graphic skills were also impressive. His style is often compared to contemporaries such as Jan Mankes and Floris Verster, characterized by centered compositions, subtle color variations, and a preference for refined subjects such as children, still lifes, and animals.
Throughout his life, Jan Wittenberg participated in over 30 exhibitions, where his work consistently received positive reviews. His distinctive still lifes, with a businesslike and subdued tone, showcase a masterful command of light, depth, and composition. He passed away on September 19, 1963, in Ede
Jan Wittenberg - Young Jackdaw
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