Barbara Broekman in private collections
Historical Context of Netherlands
The Netherlands has been recognised as an artistic and cultural centre for centuries, for instance through the international influence of renowned artists such as Jan van Eyck in the fifteenth century. In the 1600s, the Dutch Golden Age saw the emergence of such illustrious artists as Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Van Ruisdael. Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh is considered as one of the most significant forerunners of the post-Impressionist period and is still regarded as an extraordinary, unprecedented painter that has influenced the art sphere regardless of any era or movement. At first established as a magazine, De Stijl was a movement that pioneered abstract art in the Netherlands, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesberg. De Stijl artists would adopt a visual language solely composed of geometrical shapes, and the movement also had a significant influence on modern architecture as well as design. Gerrit Rietveld was a prominent architect and designer who embraced the ideals and the essence of De Stijl in his work. Willem de Kooning was also a Dutch national, though he migrated to the United States in the earlier years of his life, and his work was predominantly influenced by the Abstract Expressionism movement prosperous in New York City in the late 1940s and 1950s.