Henri Goovaerts

Old farmer with scythe

Old farmer with scythe
Dating presumably August 1892
Material / technique oil on canvas
Dimensions 36 x 30 cm
Exhibitions Maastricht 1894 (November 25 - December 9), 'Goovaerts', cat. no. 76
Provenance probably around 1897 obtained from Henri Goovaerts by Albert Grossier and Louise Wijnands, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Current residence private property Heerlen, the Netherlands
Signature none
Headings verso, with black ink, possibly written by Henri Goovaerts himself: schets. // door Henri Goovaerts. [meaning: sketch. // by Henri Goovaerts.] verso, with pencil: possibly written by Henri Goovaerts himself: raam links [underlined] [meaning: window on the left]
Remarks Nowadays, images like these are hardly known in the oeuvre of Henri Goovaerts. Yet we know that he made quite a few. The correspondence between Henri Goovaerts and August Allebé, his teacher at the State Academy, shows that during his study trip through southern Europe, Goovaerts made many quick sketches ‘en plein air’. In particular when he had been working for a long time on a copy of a masterpiece from one of the great Italian or Spanish museums - a substantial element of his study program - he couldn’t wait to go outside and depict his impressions of the landscape and the ordinary people in oil on canvas or panel. In 1894, when his study trip ended, he took many of these works, he used to call ‘sketches’, with him to the Netherlands. They were exhibited in Maastricht in a series of 80 sketches, copies and paintings that he had made in southern Europe in previous years. The catalogue of that exhibition mentions one work that might refer to this sketch, namely: cat. no. 76 ‘A corn mower in the sun – Florence’. The date of August 1892, used on this website, is based on the hypothesis that this work is the corn mower from Florence. Henri Goovaerts worked in Florence between September 1891 and August 1892 and the corn is usually harvested in August.
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