Description: MENDES DA COSTA, Joseph (Dutch 1863 - 1939). Jan Steen, 1911. Polished brown-patinated bronze, monogrammed, dated, titled and marked with the foundry stamp 'Fonderie Natle [=Nationale] des Bronzes J. Petermann St-Gilles Bruxelles' (on the base). Cast by Petermann Brussels in the edition of 7 copies only. Minor imperfections, very good condition.
Dimensions: Height 34.5 cm.
Artist or Maker: MENDES DA COSTA, Joseph (Dutch 1863 - 1939).
Provenance: Family of Mr. Kröller; Anthony [Toon] Kröller (a present from his mother, Hélène Kröller-Muller)
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In the collection of the Kröller-Muller Museum, Otterlo. Commissioned by the art historian H.P. Bremmer (1871 - 1956), who asked Joseph Mendes da Costa to create a series of 12 sculptural portraits of famous artists, philosophers and scientists, a commission undoubtedly financed by the Kröllers. The sculptor studied every figure with great attention and diligence and eventually created portraits of only Francis of Assisi, Spinoza, Vincent van Gogh and Jan Steen. Since 1910 the Art Nouveau artist Mendes da Costa worked almost exclusively for Kröller-Müller, which makes sense as he was one of Bremmer's favourite artists. The latter, surnamed the 'Art Pope of the Netherlands', was Hélène Kröller-Muller's art teacher and had a decisive influence on the founding of her art collection. The copy offered here was a present of Hélène Kröller-Muller to her eldest son Anthony who died one year before her, in 1938. It remained in the family ever since.