Thursday, June 29, 2017

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 305

The Forest at The Hague, by Louis Apol

This week’s postcard is unused, has an undivided back dating it to around 1907 or possibly earlier, and shows a winter forest scene.  The identification number, 1276, is found in the right margin, as is the publisher/printer name of Abrahamson & van Straaten of Amsterdam.  This card was found in a box of jumbled cards at a local antique mall.  Below is a copy of the original painting, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.   

The Forest at The Hague, painting by Louis Apol
[Google image]

Many postcards have works of art for the picture, as does this one titled in English “The forest at the Hague.”  The Dutch artist, Louis Apol, full name Lodewijk Frederik Hendrik Apol, was born in The Hague in 1850 and died there in 1936.  He was one of The Hague School that consisted of a group of artists who lived and worked in The Hague between 1860 and 1890.  Apol’s talent was noticed early and his father hired teachers to give his son private lessons.  In 1868 he received a scholarship from King Willem III.  Most of his paintings are winter scenes and with few exceptions do not include figures.  In 1880 he was part of an expedition to Spitsbergen in the Polar Sea.  Impressions from that journey served as inspiration for the rest of his life. 

 The Hague School was also known as the Gray School because members of the group generally used somber colors.  The French Barbizon school influenced the works.  Many of the paintings are landscapes, winter scenes, woodlands, and some of national history.  The name “Hague School” came about because a critic, Jacob van Santen Kolff, described the works as “a new way of seeing and depicting things,” “intent to convey mood, tone takes precedence over color,” “almost exclusive preference to so called ‘bad weather’ effects,” and a “gray mood.”  Although looking at the original painting in color, it is not exclusively a gray but also has subtle tones of blue, brown and orange.

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