Max Liebermann

A Village Street with Children in Laren, Holland

Watercolour on paper
18 x 30 cm
(7.1 x 11.8 in)

Signed lower right M.Liebermann ’82


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This watercolour is a fine example of the impressionist style of German painter Max Liebermann. With swift and clever brushstrokes he depicts this scene within a Dutch village street; a sandy road amidst houses and rows with trees. In the right a cow is grazing and children, accompanied by their mothers or nannies wearing blue aprons, are walking towards the viewer. Lieberman slightly indicated the elements in the composition with pencil, before he filled in the scene with colour. Certain elements are highlighted with white, like the white caps women wear on their head.

In the past there has been some discussion about the location of the scene. In an auction catalogue it was titled ‘Village Street in Zweeloo’, a Dutch town in the province Drenthe, but after some research it turned out that houses in Zweeloo at that time – the work is dated 1882 – had reed roofs and did not have roof tiles. Currently, it is assumed that Liebermann depicted Laren, a popular Dutch village that has attracted many artists during its existence. We know that Liebermann visited Laren frequently. This explains the current title.

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