Rob Graafland ( Maastricht 1875 - Heerlen 1940)
Signed and dated 1905 l.r.
Oil on canvas laid down on panel
Panel 15,35* 8,3 inch (39*21 cm), Framed 16,5* 10 inch (42*25 cm)
Robert Archibald Graafland was born in Maastricht and moved to Amsterdam with his parents in 1890, where he received his education for Drawing teachers and also at the Quilliniusschool. Graafland then went to the National Academy for Visual Arts. There he was taught by August Allebe and Carel L. Drake. After his studies, Graafland returns to Maastricht where he is hired as a drawing teacher at the Stadsteeken Institute. Together with this institute he founded the Sunday School for Decorative Arts and chooses the most talented students himself. He also continues to illustrate books and magazines. After his marriage to a wealthy woman, the honeymoon went to Italy, where he probably gained a lot of inspiration, which was reflected in his later use of colour. He also made a long journey to America. In 1911 his newly acquired house near Maastricht, with its park-like garden, became a meeting place for art friends and students. He develops his own style: romantic impressionism with fast and spontaneous brushwork and an intense and radiant colour palette. The subjects come from his immediate environment. Robert Graafland exhibited in Maastricht and Amsterdam in 1910, met Piet Mondriaan and Jan Sluijters together in the Stedelijk Museum. In the same year, he also founded the Limburgse Kunstkring. Unfortunately much has changed for him after the outbreak of the First World War. His health left something to be desired and he was not well supervised financially. Graafland remained active as an illustrator and art teacher. Eventually, when things went better for him he was able to paint again and devoted himself to making portraits for which he again received many commissions.