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Between 1893 and 1896, George Hendrik Breitner painted a series of portraits of the ‘Girl in a Kimono’. Virtually all of these pictures were based on the young model Geesje Kwak, who came from a Zaandam family of bargees. During the 1890s, Kwak was Breitner's favourite model. Influenced by the craze for Japonism which dominated the Parisian art world and fashion scene at the time, he let her pose in a Japanese kimono.

From 20 February to 22 May 2016, the Rijksmuseum is bringing together for the first time all fourteen versions of the Girl in a kimono in a special exhibition. The RKD's collection of Breitner photographs includes several portraits of Geesje. The example below shows Geesje posing in Breitner's studio on the Lauriergracht in Amsterdam. Breitner used the photo as a preliminary study for this painting.

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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