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Influence and inspiration
Breitner's model

A slender woman stands before a mirror and puts on an earring. This is Breitner's favourite model: the young hat salesgirl Geesje Kwak. We se her from behind, but her concentrated expression can be seen in the mirror. She is wearing a blue kimono with a flower pattern. She wears a white sash around her waist. George Hendrik Breitner mainly painted scenes of everyday life in Amsterdam. He painted a large series of paintings of young women wearing kimonos, of which this is one. In the second half of the nineteenth century there was a growing interest in Japanese art in Europe. Japanese art objects were shown at the various Worlds Fairs and exhibitions of Japanese prints were organised. Artists such as Monet, Manet and Van Gogh were inspired by Japanese art. Around 1890 Breitner noted the titles of several books on Japanese art in his sketchbook. It seems he too was reading about Japanese art. It is in the same period that he made his paintings with young women in kimonos.


Title The Earring
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type Painting
Location This object is on view in room 13
Dimensions (general) Width : 57,5 cm
Height : 84,5 cm
Makers Painter: George Hendrik Breitner
Accession number St 95
Credits Bruikleen / Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1952 (Schenking / Donation: W.H. de Monchy en / and Erasmusstichting)
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1952
Age maker About 36 years old
Exhibitions The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Material Oil > Paint > Artist's material > Material > Material and technique
Canvas > Worked fibres > Fibre > Vegetable material > Organic material > Material > Material and technique
Object Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Geographical origin The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the maker

George Hendrik Breitner

Rotterdam 1857 - Amsterdam 1923

George Hendrik Breitner mainly became famous with his paintings of Amsterdam street life. He studied at various academies, including the Hague Academy, the Poly..