Excavation, Leidseplein in Amsterdam by Jan Sluijters
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Jan Sluijters

Excavation, Leidseplein in Amsterdam 1924

CanvasPaintOil paint
123 ⨯ 16 cm
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Peter Pappot Art Gallery

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About the artwork

Excavation, Leidseplein in Amsterdam

In the extensive oeuvre of Jan Sluyters cityscapes are quite rare.
In his entire career he painted Amsterdam, -the city he loved so dearly -, only a few times.
After his return from Paris in 1906 he settled permanently in Amsterdam.
He had a special intrest in nocturnal Amsterdam and his excavations, this painting is a good example.
The difference between the electric illuminated area and the darkness of the pit on the other side divides the painting diagonally in half. The darkness on the right absorbs all forms but the harsh artificial light has the same effect.
By painting the Leidseplein this way Jan Sluyters not only managed to paint the town itself but also the atmosphere and the spirit of Amsterdam.

About the Artist

Jan Sluijters was born in Den Bosch in 1881. He was the son of Gijsbertus Antonius Sluijters.
Jan Sluijters himself had three children called Jan Sluijters (jr.), Lous Sluijters and Eliza Sluijters together with M.F. van Cooten. His son-in-laws were Jacob Kuijper and Kuno Brinks.
His paintings feature nude studies, portraits, landscapes, and still lifes.

Jan Sluijters, together with Piet Mondriaan and Leo Gestel, stands out as one of the truly pioneering Dutch modern artists. In his early years, Sluijters experimented with many different styles. After his visits to Paris his style became more expressive and belonged more to Cubism and Futurism.
A particularly important part of his oeuvre are his luministic landscapes dating from his early period. After his expressionistic period in the small village of Staphorst in 1916, Sluijters began painting realistic portraits and nudes.

A number of streets are named after him in the Netherlands, including one in the neighborhood of streets named after 19th and 20th century Dutch painters in Overtoomse Veld-Noord, Amsterdam.

Jan Sluijters died in Amsterdam in 1957.