Henri Goovaerts

Portrait of Joachim Suringar

Portrait of Joachim Suringar
Dating 1885
Material / technique oil on canvas
Dimensions 72,5 x 53,5 cm (cutout passe-partout)
Literature Suringar, P.H., 'Levensschets van Joachim Willem Suringar' in: Jaarboekje der Limburgsche Protestanten-Vereeniging voor 1917, p. 21 Bax, W. (ed.), Gedenkboek der Nederlandsche Hervormde Gemeente van Maastricht, 1632-1932, Maastricht 1932 (image next to p. 224) Eggink, E. (ed), Vereniging Suringar: 100 jaar Protestants Christelijk onderwijs Maastricht 1916-2016, Maastricht 2016, (images on pages 8, 11)
Current residence Suringar Association Maastricht, location Primary school Suringar Maastricht
Headings On the rear side of the frame is a label of frame shop P.A. Nijgh from Enschede. Just above it is written by hand and in Dutch: ‘Dr. theol. Joachim Willem Suringar // 1810-1892 // minister Nether German Reformed Church Community // of Maastricht 1841-1881 // fec. 1885 Henri Goovaerts’
Remarks Little is known about about Henri Goovaerts in the period between the completion of his education at the Art Academy of Mechelen (1885) and the start of his education at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam (1887). He may have earned a living as he had done since he was twelve, namely as a decoration painter in his father's company. In any case, some portraits are known from this period in which it is clear that Goovaerts had already completed two years of art education. The portrait of Joachim Suringar is one of them. It is the only portrait we know from this period depicting someone outside the family circle. Joachim Willem Suringar (1810-1892) was a minister in Maastricht from 1841 to 1881. In 1916 the Suringar Association was founded in honor of his ideas, with the purpose to establish a Protestant school in Maastricht. 'The best portrait of my father is made in oil, from the Maastricht painter Goovaerts, from about 1885.' These are the words of Pieter Suringar, written down in 1917 in the biographical sketch on his father (see: literature). What this portrait really looked like, is only known from of a black and white image in the memorial book of the Dutch Reformed Church of Maastricht from 1932. Nowadays this portrait is no longer recognizable since it has been painted over with pastel colored acrylic paint at the current residence in 2012. An image of the contemporary state can be seen on page 11 in: Eggink, E. (ed), Vereniging Suringar: 100 jaar Protestants Christelijk onderwijs Maastricht 1916-2016. According to the present Head Teacher of the Suringar school, the original painting consisted of dark colors with many browns. These colors and, especially, the strict expression of the man portrayed were the reason for the overpainting.
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