ARNOLD MARC GORTER
A Farmer Leading Cattle Along the River Edge
Oil on canvas | signed lower right "A.M. GORTER" | original dealer label verso for Frans Buffa & Sons, canvas stenciled the same
Item # 204HPQ29X
An optimistic and very pleasant view centered around a body of water as the focal point, in the distance a trio of cows walk before a traditionally dressed woman. It is an idyllic grove with sparse trees surrounding the water and vibrant patches of grass set against stark bare soil. Typical of Gorter's work, the magic is in the reflections across the water, capturing the autumnal trees with their auburn foliage across the waters edge; the primary trees have shed their leaves and stand sparse into the cloudy sky. With a dense overall atmosphere, the work is characterized by an impressionistic brush-work blending a heavy impasto with more subtle complex brush strokes in the details. It is an excellent example of his technical proficiency with reflections and shadows that perfectly capture the mechanics of reality. The work is signed lower right in his typical script "A.M. GORTER".
The painting retains the original label and canvas stencil of Frans Buffa & Sons, the Amsterdam gallery that would ultimately become his most important partnership starting in the 1890s.
Arnold Marc Gorter was born in Almelo in 1866 and moved to Amsterdam in 1884. There he attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten located in the newly built Rijksmusem, where he graduated in 1887 and became an instructor in 1889 through 1896. He brought many sketches of Almelo along with him to Amsterdam and it is a space he continually revisited in his work. Gorter's love for the eastern region of the Netherlands is clearly reflected in his ouevre and Gorter would continue to execute landscapes of his native countryside of Twente regularly throughout his career. He painted around the village of Vorden extensively with hundreds of paintings specifically surrounding the Vordense beek, a small river running through the countryside. Most of these were executed after 1904 and he acquired some land in the countryside of Vordense in 1916.
His first solo exhibitions in Almelo and in Amsterdam in the 1890s were quite successful and the art-dealer Frans Buffa & Sons in Amsterdam began to represent him; ultimately he would become one of Frans Buffa's best selling artists, sharing this distinction with Isaac Israels.
He was awarded distinction at exhibition in 1904 and the same year the French government bought a large landscape from him for the Museé du Luxembourg. In 1910 he was given a second-place award and again a medal in Munich in 1905. He exhibited in Germany at the Internationale Kunstausstellungen in Berlin and the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris where he was awarded with numerous honors for his submissions. His first exhibition in the United States was the 1904 Universal Exposition in St. Louis and he made contacts with dealers in the United States for the sale of his paintings to clients there. In 1915 he won a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific World Fair in San Francisco and by this time his sales in Canada and the United States are said to have exceeded that of Holland. In 1923 he was elected for membership in the Académie Française. He served as president of Saint Lucas, an artist society, later graduating to be president of the more prestigious Arti et Amicitiae.
Artist Listings & Bibliography:
- E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol VI, Gründ, 2006, p. 471-72
Measurements: 29 7/8" H x 39 3/4" W [canvas]; 29 3/4" H x 44 3/4" W x 1 3/4" D [frame]
Original stretcher and keys; linen in excellent condition and remains unlined; very minimal craquelure to surface throughout; cleaned by our conservator, fresh traditional Damar varnish applied to surface; under UV examination, a few speck touchups, otherwise free of filling or inpainting; a good quality contemporary giltwood frame with minor faux and natural wear.