Christmas Eve (Kerstnacht)

Theodorus van Hoytema Dutch

Not on view

Van Hoytema was the most significant Dutch designer and lithographer at the end of the nineteenth century. Still beloved in Holland today for his animal-themed work, these pieces were equally admired in his time. Part of the Art Nouveau movement in Holland, Van Hoytema's Christmas Eve and New Year were produced as a matched pair in an edition of 200. Christmas Eve depicts two owls in a snowy landscape with a flock of swans flying overhead. A border of slanted owls and another of holly leaves decorate the bottom of the image. New Year includes a host of birds, a white peacock gloriously opens its tail feathers observed by three geese; the two owls from the previous print make an appearance on the bottom as though they are flying away from the New Year. The connecting figures of a turkey, a large dark peacock, and a rooster create a large curve that enframes the white peacock. Both works show the influence of Japanese artwork on the compositions. Hoytema combines in these works the use of lithographic crayon to define lighter areas and lithographic ink to create the darks as well as the mosaic-like patterning on the turkey and owls in the New Year.

Christmas Eve  (Kerstnacht), Theodorus van Hoytema (Dutch, The Hague 1863–1917 The Hague), Lithograph, second state of two

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