Constant Artz (1870-1951)

Constant David Ludovic Artz  (1870-1951) 

A Family Group

Oil on Canvas, 17cm x 23cm / 32cm x 39cm

The son of David Adolph Constant Artz (1837-1890) Constant David Artz lived and worked in Holland. He studied at The Hague Academy, becoming a pupil of T. Offermans. His father Adolph Artz, who played a great role in nineteenth century genre painting, was the best known follower of Josef Israels, himself the most important member of the Hague School. 

Brother of Jacob and Matthijs, Willem Maris, was a great influence on Constant Artz, who, like his father, followed his love of nature and painted open-air cameos in a realistic style.  He was particularly drawn to depicting ducks, and there was a huge demand for this type of illustration in the nineteenth century.  ‘Ducks on a Riverbank’shows the birds basking in bright sunlight, the artist’s play of light discernable on their downy feathers.  This is an excellent example of a preferred milieu of the age: painting the riverbank with ducks either swimming or disporting at the water’s edge. 

The Hague school was a group of painters in the 1870s who came to embrace as their subject matter the native Dutch landscape and the everyday lives of its rural inhabitants, most notably the fisher folk of the coastal villages. Within a few years the Hague School artists’ works would prove incredibly popular throughout the world, perhaps because of the simpleness of their subjects in a time of modernity and turmoil.