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Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman (1882 - 1945)

Lot 182: Kamp St. Michielsgestel, a masterpiece by Werkman

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

June 7, 2021
Amsterdam, Netherlands

More About this Item


Description

- WERKMAN, Hendrik Nicolaas (Dutch 1882 - 1945). Gijzelaarskamp St. Michielsgestel I [Hostage camp St. Michielsgestel I], 1942. 'Druksel': stencil print on beige wove paper, printed by hand, dated in ink 'Juni 1942' (lower right), with a label of Groninger Museum (on the backing) and the exhibition label of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam inscribed '125A' (upper left, on the reverse), inscribed in pencil with date and name of the former owner '3/6 Balkema' (lower right, on the reverse); framed under passe-partout behind glass. Toned, a few foxing spots, several unobtrusive creases, overall in very good condition. Unique.

Dimensions

Image size 65 x 50 cm., frame size 92 x 62 cm.

Artist or Maker

WERKMAN, Hendrik Nicolaas (Dutch 1882 - 1942).

Exhibited

'H.N. Werkman drukker-schilder', Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 24 November - 17 December 1945

Literature

Dekkers, D., et al. H.N. Werkman. Het complete oeuvre. Rotterdam/Amsterdam, NAi Uitgevers/Stichting H.N. Werkman, 2008, no. D-277

Fürst, M., Werkman, H. N., et al. Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman. Bochum, Städtische Kunstgalerie, 1961, p. 59

Martinet, J. Hot printing. Amsterdam, Stichting H.N. Werkman en Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1963, pp. 58-59, no. 42-39

Provenance

Private collection; Collection Egbert Forsten, Groningen, since c. 1990s; Collection A.A. Balkema, Amsterdam/Kaapstad, since c. 1943

Notes

In May 1942 about 500 notable Dutch people were taken hostage and transported to the camp in Sint-Michielsgestel. Among them were reverend and art historian August Henkels and photographer Paul Guermonprez, the two best friends of Werkman, who were involved in the clandestine publishing house 'De Blauwe Schuit' founded by the artist. The idea behind the camp was to use the hostages as a collateral in the event of anti-nazi agitation provoked by the Dutch resistance. Werkman depicts this event by creating a rhythmical and colourful composition where a number of hostages walk in a row, one after another, with their heads turned away from the viewer in the direction pointed by the arrows. This druksel is of outermost importance as there is only one more remaining work dedicated to this theme - 'Hostage Camp St. Michielsgestel II' in the collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag. A sketch for the druksel offered here, drawn by Werkman on a calendar sheet of 26 May 1941, differs when it comes to the composition as it also includes 'a road to Amsterdam' with another arrow which the artist rejected in the final version of the print.

From the collection of the legendary bookseller and publisher A.A. Balkema. His bookstore in Het Huis aan de Drie Grachten (House on Three Canals) became an important centre for the production and distribution of clandestine literature during the Second World War. Balkema was a great admirer of Werkman, for example, he received the famous Turkenkalender (1942) directly from the artist. Immediately after the war he organised the first Werkman exhibition and published a catalogue of his works (1945).

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NRC15 - Fine Art

by
Adams Amsterdam Auctions
June 7, 2021, 6:30 PM CET

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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