signed and dated '48 oil on canvas
Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, De Portrettist Paul Citroen als Verzamelaar, December 1968 - February 1969, no. 2a
Herbert van Rheeden a.o., Paul Citroen, kunstenaar-docent-verzamelaar, Zwolle 1994, No. XLVIII, illustrated
Paul Citroen, The Netherlands
and thence by descent
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We kindly thank Mr Jan Nieuwenhuizen Segaar for his contribution to the research of this work
Questioning Children (Vragende Kinderen) is one of the most important series by the artist, of which three wood collages exist. They exemplify one of the most important areas of interest of Karel Appel, as Jean-Clarence Lambert states: 'not boyhood but the infancy of art.'
Of the CoBrA artists it is, again according to Jean-Clarence Lambert, Appel who 'went furthest in identifying with children; the child was one of the iconographic themes to which he would return throughout the entire course of his work, after the famous fresco, Questioning Children (Vragende Kinderen), he painted for the Amsterdam Town Hall.'
And as the artist put it: 'very often people exclaim when they see my work "Look at that! My three- year-old daughter could have done it!" to which he replies "Yes, that's true, but the difference is I did it while she didn't."'
Painted in 1948 around the moment that CoBrA was formed, Children and Animals (Kinderen en Dieren) shows the childlike sensibility and the jubilant sense of victory and freedom Appel must have found in his work. With its pure red, green, blue and yellow colours Children and Animals exemplifies the CoBrA style.