Every once in a while I come across a painter to whom I have the delightful reaction of “Wow! How did I not know about this one before?”
That was my response when I stumbled across a painting by Johannes Jacobus Maria ‘Jan’ Bogaerts, a Dutch painter active in the early to mid 20th century, whose work carries wonderful echoes of his 17th century predecessors.
In searching for more of his work, I found beautifully subtle and muted landscapes, often cast in low light with subdued value relationships, and, in particular, striking still life paintings that are somehow simultaneously restrained and bold.
I’ve seen plenty of still life that would fit in the category of “realism”, but there is something about the balance of naturalistic representation and painterly effect in Bogaert’s simple arrangements that I find especially appealing.
Part of the appeal, I think, is his choice of still life objects that are chipped or cracked and otherwise show signs of age and wear, as well as background walls and tiles that show something of the same.
The best source I’ve found for images of Bogaert’s work is a Dutch gallery, Simonis & Buunk. Their page includes a bio of the artist as well as links to large images.