The stories behind the design highlighted
The designs of the Rijksmuseum wallpaper collection were created with works of different masters of the 1500 -1800 centuries. Each of these masters have their own story that must be continued to be told. We have highlighted a number of masters for each design referring to elements that were used in that design. This is how stories will be continued to be told.
Finely drawn flower and animal figures of drawings and paintings of Dorothea Maria Gsell born in the 17th century, Jean Bernard from the 19th century and Robert Jacob Gordon from the 18th century have been combined and have led to a new imaginative and fabulous design. Each artist had their own fascination of flora and fauna which they have captured in their drawings and paintings.This way the stories of the past create a design of the future and it will get a place in the spotlights once again.
Dorothea Maria Gsell, Red Ibis, RP-T-1977-16
Dorothea Maria Gsell (1678-1743) was the youngest daughter of botanic artist and scientist Maria Sibylla Merian.Together with her mother and sister she had a very successful workplace in Amsterdam to sell her mother’s books, as well as drawings, stuffed animals and dried insects.
In 1699 Dorothea Maria left, together with her mother, to Surinam to study butterflies and plants as preparation of a publication. In these days a very dangerous journey for women.They settled in Paramaribo to go on trips to catch insects. Unfortunately Maria Sibylla fell ill, forcing the women to return to Amsterdam just two years later, in 1701.The red Ibis has been drawn in Surinam.
After the death of her mother, Dorothea Maria moved to Sint Petersburg with her husband, the Russian artist Georg Gsell. She became a renowned artists there and was closely associated with the St. Petersburg art academy. An exceptional role for a woman.
Jean Bernard, Tulip, RP-T-1904-412
Jean Bernard (1765- 1823) was amateur artist, art dealer and member of the Amsterdam private drawing society ‘Zonder Wet of Spreuk’ (ca. 1808-1819).This society consisted of a group of 14 befriended artists, who came together to draw a hired (dressed) model. Several drawings of the same model have been found in the houses of these artists.The Rijksmuseum received a very large collection of his drawings in 1904. Most of them are drawings of animals. He may have copied the tulip.
Robert Jacob Gordon, Zebra RP-T-1914-17-191
Robert Jacob Gordon (1743-1795), born in The Netherlands with a Scottish father, lived a pretty adventurous life until he was drafted into the army. He was an explorer, scientist and diplomat. He had traveled the Cape Colony and traversed areas where no white man had ever set foot. He mapped the great river to the north and named it Orange River - the name that has endured to this day.
Robert J. Gordon has left behind an enormous legacy, providing an enormously detailed picture of South Africa during the last decades of the VOC regime. The work he has left behind is all the more impressive, as he has accomplished it almost all by himself with some help from the uneducated. By this accomplishment he showed that he had the same skills as a botanist, zoologist, ethnographer, linguist, geologist, cartographer and draftsman. As an anthropologist, he also had a great fascination for the fate of the indigenous people, whose lifes had been changes drastically with the arrival of the colonists.
Once upon a Time
A particularly colourful and cheerful interplay where the artworks of Art Schouman and Henrietta Geertruida Knip play the leading role.The flora with exuberant flowers and the fauna with the refined toucan and red parrot are a particularly strong combination. The artists who lived in different centuries, shared the same passion, visualising special animals and colorful flowers with refined details.They are united in a new design to shine in the 21st century.
Aert Schouman 1720, Tucan RP-T-FM-138 & Red-green parrot RP-T-1918-432
Aert Schouman is an talented artist from Dordrecht , he was an jack of all trades. He painted, draw, made prints and engraved glasswork. He was also a collector and art dealer. He himself made a number of murals (not particularly wallpaper, but with the aim of decorating the walls) for prominent citizens of Dordrecht,The Hague and Middelburg. He painted these wall decorations in a light and airy style. Aert Schouman was no scientist, but was equally interested in the true-to-life representation of the animal and bird kingdom. His great observation powers can be seen with this red-billed toucan clings to a branch, with two toes instead of three like other species.
Henriëtta Geertruij Knip, Flowers, RP-T-FM-72
Henriëtta comes from an artist family of three generations from Brabant, from c. 1770 to 1900. In that era, it was rare for a woman to built a meritorious career as a painter. She first learned from her father Nicolaas Frederik Knip, but moved to Paris in 1803, where she learned from Gerard van Spaendonck. She became a specialist, just like Van Spaendonck, in fruit and flower paintings. She moved back to The Netherlands in 1806. Not many of her works have been preserved, both the Teylers Museum in Haarlem and the Rijksmuseum have only two of them.
Never Ending Story
Finely drawn flower and animal figures from drawings and paintings of different old masters are combined in this imagi- native and fabulous design. In this new design they’re brought together to tell a new story.The lush floral wreath is the centrepiece of the design.You can keep looking at it endlessly and you will always discover new details.You travel through time between the 16th and 19th centuries. Each of these artists had their own vision of the world and painted the flora and fauna in their own way.