collection

Stadsgezicht

  • 1934
  • Carel Willink
  • oil on canvas
  • 87,8 x 113 cm (incl. lijst)
  • Location not on view.
  • Acquired in 1950
  • Inventory number 509

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Description

Willink based the building on the left on the premises in Amsterdam where the Vondelstraat crosses the Tesselschadestraat. In 1935 Willink moved to the Ruysdaelkade, a ten-minute walk from this spot, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1931, after a trip to Italy, where he was introduced to the work of the Italian painter Giorgio De Chirico, Willink changed his style of painting. The influence of De Chirico’s metaphysical style can be seen in the 1934 painting Stadsgezicht (Townscape): the quiet, empty square, the elongated shadows and time which seems to stand still. The absence of figures and the synthetic lighting create an ominous atmosphere. Some critics believe this reflects the crisis of the 1930s. Willink himself said about his work: ‘I link a business-like approach to dreams – although my dreams are more filled with a demonic quality than a sense of bliss.’ He called his work ‘imaginary realism’, reality painted from the imagination.

[exhibition text 2013]

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Context

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