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Jan Sluijters, Self portrait, 1911, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Caldic Collection, Wassenaar

With his rugged face, scruffy beard, eyes that stare dreamily, and ruby cheeks which stand out against the deep blue hues of his clothing – all painted with expressive brushstrokes – Jan Sluijters (1881-1957) was nicknamed the ‘painter-beast’ by his contemporaries, an epithet that seems to sum up this self portrait rather well. Sluijters was a painter through and through. With vigorous movements of the brush and a palette of bright and sharply contrasting colours he immortalized beautiful women, sweet children, sundrenched landscapes and exuberant flower still lives on his canvases. Sluijters began his career as an experimenter, trying out practically every ‘-ism’ of his time. In the course of his life he gradually toned down his style to a more moderate but highly successful combination of expressionism and realism. Working steadily he produced no fewer than 1500 paintings, which have now, after many years of research by the RKD, been assembled in a digital catalogue raisonné: http://sluijters.rkdmonographs.nl

The RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) is the world’s leading information centre and central source for the study of Dutch art.

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