1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maris, Jacob

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MARIS, JACOB (1837-1899), Dutch painter, first studied at the Antwerp Academy, and subsequently in Hébert's studio during a stay in Paris from 1865 till 1871. He returned to Holland when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, and died there in August 1899. Though he painted, especially in early life, domestic scenes and interiors invested with deeply sympathetic feeling, it is as a landscape painter that Maris will be famous. He was the painter of bridges and windmills, of old quays, massive towers, and level banks; even more was he the painter of water, and misty skies, and chasing clouds. In all his works, whether in water or oil colour, and in his etchings, the subject is always subordinate to the effect. His art is suggestive rather than decorative, and his force does not seem to depend on any preconceived method, such as a synthetical treatment of form or gradations of tone. And yet, though his means appear so simple, the artist's mind seems to communicate with the spectator's by directness of, pictorial instinct, and we have only to observe the admirable balance of composition and truthful perspective to understand the sure knowledge of his business that underlies such purely impressionist handling. Maris has shown all that is gravest or brightest in the landscape of Holland, all that is heaviest or clearest in its atmosphere — for instance, in the “Grey Tower, Old Amsterdam,” in the “Landscape near Dordrecht,” in.the “Sea-weed Carts, Scheveningen,” in “A Village Scene,” and in the numerous other pictures which have been exhibited in the Royal Academy, London, in Edinburgh (1885), Paris, Brussels and Holland, and in various private collections. “No painter,” says M. Philippe Zilcken, “has so well expressed the ethereal effects, bathed in air and light through floating silvery mist, in which painters delight, and the characteristic remote horizons blurred by haze; or again, the grey yet luminous weather of Holland, unlike the dead grey rain of England or the heavy sky of Paris.”

See Max Rooses, Dutch Painters of the Nineteenth Century (London, 1899); R. A. M. Stevenson, “Jacob Maris,” Magazine of Art (1900); Ph. Zilcken, Peintres Hollandais modernes (Amsterdam, 1893); Jan Veth, “Een Studie over Jacob Maris,” Onze Kunst (Antwerp, 1902).