The Singel, Amsterdam - Breitner, George

Fine Art

Breitner, George

George Breitner was born in Rotterdam in 1857; he enrolled in the Art Academy in The Hague in 1876, where he learned the academic style. He was influenced by The Hague School and their interest in French Impressionism. His inspiration primarily came from the city streets and scenes. For a short period in the early 1880s, he spent time and worked with Vincent van Gogh in portraying the poorer sections in The Hague. Breitner moved to Amsterdam in 1886, where went to school at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten. Amsterdam became his home, however he would frequently travel to other local areas to visit and find new inspiration. But he would always come back to Amsterdam, fascinated with its city life.

Some of his other subjects include the kimono girls and portraits. Breitner preferred to use working class models and scenes, for he saw his style as a style of the people. It was in 1889 he started painted girls in kimonos and also he began to use photography as a reference and inspiration for his work. He was known to paint images multiple times from different angles. Throughout his career he combined the dark color pallet of Realism and the airy painting technique of French Impressionism. He tended to blend the two components to create lively but at the same time darker scenes of urbanism. He concentrated on illustrating busy street scenes, the demolition of old buildings and building plots and regular city views. As such, Breitner was one of the most compelling painters and photographers of Amsterdam in his time.