Louis Marin Bonnet

Le Dejeune, aquatint etching by Louis Marin Bonnet.
Le Dejeune, aquatint etching by Louis Marin Bonnet.

Louis Marin Bonnet came from a family of artisans and was trained in the craft of engraving by his brother-in-law, the engraver Louis Legrand (1723-1808).

Via Legrands connections in the art world, Bonnet became the pupil of Jean-Charles François. After a year of study, Bonnet and François invented the “crayon manner”. This was a engraving technique invented to imitate the look of a chalk drawing.  In 1760, Bonnet was ready to set up his own shop. During this period he perfected the crayon manner by producing prints using several different plates, each inked with a different color. These were very valuable and labor intensive processes that where simplified later on.  He also experimented with aquatint-like techniques designed to reproduce wash drawing.

Bonnet was considered one of the most significant representatives of engraving in pastel manner. engravings with mythological and gallant scenes, as well as portraits and nudes. He engraved after his friend Francois Boucher, Francois-Hubert Drouais and Jean-Baptiste Huet.
Works of Louis Marin Bonnet are part of the collections of many  international museums.

These Aquatints are for sale on etsy:

Two antique aquatint prints by Bonnet

A letter from Jan Mankes

Jan Mankes 1889-1920

A letter Jan Mankes wrote, while he was ill with tuberculosis.  The letter was addressed to a female friend and art collector. A few months later he died, thirty years of age.

Jan Mankes, self portrait with owl

“An August day can be so dusty and sobering”. “On these days you just want to disappear, escape all this misery imposing on you”. However you know: “the serene evening will come and the Lapwing, (a bird) will be heard over the lowlands”. When taking a walk in the early morning dew, looking at the backs of the cows, and the dampening trees, you know that just the thought of all these things justifies everything on such a fierce August day.  “You’re not to groan and curse”, “and you do not try to change it and improve it, you just seek out a quiet place somewhere on a deserted piece of land, and wait while knowing that it will come”.  Nature has nothing to hide, but gives everything, and those August days, they also have their place in our mental landscape. But the winterstorm nights, they will come, and so will the lovely mornings and evenings in may,  those are all intimacy.

Only that depth we get while living life through these extremes, together,  can make true friendships happen.

Will fate allow us to go through all these stages?


The Dutch version of this letter is found on the website: www.annezernike.nl

More art of Jan Mankes: The Darkness of Jan Mankes

Woodblock prints, Jan Mankes and colorblindness

I am “one in two-hundred females with color blindness”.  I can distinct primary colors pretty well, and find my self mostly struggling with some varieties of blended colors. I have always been drawn to artworks with lots of black tones like for instance those of the Dutch painter Jan Mankes, 1889-1920. When in a room with several paintings, like in the Museum of Arnhem, these are the ones that my eyes are drawn to. 

Selfy with owl Jan Mankes
Selfy with owl

When I first saw his work in our local art museum I was blown away by the paintings of Jan Mankes. The colors he uses, the topics of his works and even the small size of his paintings, accredit to the fantastic sober, dark and natural atmosphere of his artistic legacy. The frames that were used for his paintings, are made of wood and are often very broad and robust, also complimenting the petite fragile inner state of the paintings. Since that moment in the museum, (to me almost a spiritual happening) I became a big fan of his work. Most artworks by Mankes have that darkness that I like. A literal darkness. I think the scarceness of bright and light colors is in beautiful contrast with Mankes smooth, powdery and gentle streak.

View from his atelier in Eerbeek

His sometimes unusual use of color and the dark blend, makes me wonder if Mankes might have been colorblind. It takes one to know one I suppose?

Darkness in old paintings, like that in the paintings of the great masters, Rembrandt van Rijn for instance, was often caused by the layer upon layer of yellowed and browned lacquer and the dependence on natural sources of daylight. Next to that, their paint and pigments where natural and made by following very precise alchemy recipes. Sometimes the pigments and the paint where poorly made. Turning black after long periods of time because the pigments in the paint turned out to be unstable.

Art lovers and artists themselves have come to associate the darkness in the paintings with the quality of the old masters. Later generations of artists have used special dark brown lacquer for their paintings in order to create that brown and yellowish veil over their works.

Porcupine, Jan Mankes woodblock
Porcupine Woodblock by Jan Mankes

I have recently read some of the correspondence of Jan with his friend and art collector Gouma (1882 – 1926) The way Jan writes about the weather, nature and his environment, makes me think he was a fan of “the dark days before Christmas “as we say here in the Netherlands and actually enjoyed those beautiful soft and natural colors that come with that time of the year. I came to understand that Jan was very inspired by the woodblock prints of the Japanese artist Hokusai and bought his very first etching press because he wanted to make prints himself. In 1913 he started with his first prints and I am glad that he did because the woodblock prints and etchings by Jan Mankes are of an exceptional quality as you can see here on the left. Portraying a prickly animal so soft and touchable with only black and white as an option is truly the work of a great artist. I must say that I am always scouting to hopefully obtain one of those great woodblock prints by Jan Mankes. They are being sold for absurd amounts of money here in Jan Mankes’s Lowlands.

Zilverwyandotte, woodcut by Jan Mankes
Zilverwyandotte, woodcut by Jan Mankes

In 1920, Jan Mankes unfortunately died from tuberculosis when he was only 30 years old. He left a legacy of 150 small paintings, 100 drawings, and 50 graphics.

I have translated one of Jan’s many letters for reference: “A Letter from Jan Mankes”.






Artists: Han Krug

Han Krug 1890 – 1977

Hankrug3kleinHan Krug was a Dutch artist who went to the  Academy of Visual Arts (Academie van beeldende kunsten) in The Hague from 1900 til 1908. After graduating from the academy, he worked as a lithograph artist for the “Mouton”printing company in the Hague and the “van Leer”company  in Amsterdam for some time. Around 1910 he started his own commercial advertisement and decoration studio. He also began drawing and painting landscapes. After 1918 he began creating woodblock cuts at which he became very skilled. He mainly created landscapes but also ex-libris and limited edition prints for unique books. For his woodcuts he received an honorable diploma from the Los Angeles bookplate association.

In 1923 Krug became a member of the Pulchri Studio. He got married and together with his wife he began selling lamps, toys and homemade furniture from their home decoration shop. Because of the crisis the demand for home decoration items decreased dramatically and Krug started painting large coastal sceneries with dunes.

During the second world war Krug went into hiding in Wieringen, to avoid being forced to join the fascist “Nederlandse Kultuurkamer”. All artists had to register themselves with the “Dutch culture bureau”. If you did not join, you had to pay a huge (about $ 30,000) fine to the German occupiers. Of course everything an artist made had to be made in service of the national socialistic agenda. After the war he continued painting large dune landscapes and he also helped establishing “the Haagse Aquarellisten”.

source: Wikipidia



Artists: E.L. Verveer

Elchanon Verveer 1826-1900

elchanon verveer

Elchanon Verveer was a Dutch artist, painter, engraver, cartoonist and graphics artist. He used to work together with his two brothers Maurits and Samuel with whom he worked and lived for the main part of their lives. In 1845 Elchanon started taking painting lessons at the Academy of The Hague, “De Haagse Academie”.

Before that he was working (and educated) mainly as an engraving artist. He was a member of the Pulchri Studio in The Hague. His brother Maurits helped setting up the Pulchri studio. Elchanon was also a member of “Arti et Amicitiae” in Amsterdam. His paintings and work are influenced by Romanticism and Impressionism and are considered to form a link between the two artistic movements.

When he was older he also began painting the rougher side of life when he began portraying the harsh lives of the fishermen people of Scheveningen, the coastal area of The Hague. Elchanon was also a very good cartoonist. He made a lot of comical portrayals of his fellow Pulchri studio artists some of which are in the collection of Dutch museums around the country.

Recently there was a big display in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam that featured some of the works of the three brothers but also gave a interesting insight into their lives as emancipated Jewish young men in Dutch society. Recently it was also announced that a painting of Elchanon was found again after being lost for many years.

The Verveers, masters of Romanticism. Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam.


Showcase: Henri Verstijnen

 For sale :  Henri Verstijnen art.

Here you can find all artworks by Henri Verstijnen that are for sale at the moment. You can click on an image to visit the referring page.


Two Sparrows
Two young sparrows
Sneeuw uil
Snowy Owl
Wilde Zwijnen
Wild Boars
Grote ZilverReiger
Great Egret, Blue Herron
The (cocky) red turkey by henri https://johulsteinsfineprints.wordpress.com/erstijnen
Turkey in Red


avond ydille
Evening Ydille







Artists: Jan Veringa

Jan Veringa

Jan  (Johannes) Veringa was born in 1907 in Haarlem and died in 1961.

He was a skilled woodcut and linoleum cut artist and he also made aquarel paintings.

He went to the art teachers school “Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijs”  in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Subjects in his work where; landscapes, buildings, nudes, flowers. He made his living as a teacher at art schools and wrote a book about linoleum cutting.

Jan Veringa was a member of art society “Vereeniging st. Lucas” in Amsterdam.


Artists: Henricus Rol

Henrikus Rol


“I paint to live and I live to paint “


hendricus rolHenricus Rol was born in 1906 and died in 1992 in Noorden, the Netherlands. He was the son of Cornelis Rol and his working years where from 1928 until 1992. As an illustration artist he worked together with his father on the Dutch famous “Verkade albums” published by the “Verkade” company. Henricus studied at the “Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten” in The Hague, The Netherlands”. He worked in Amsterdam, The Hague, Voorburg en Noorden.  He worked as an illustrator, a painter, a graphic artist and he restored paintings. Henricus also made portraits of the Dutch Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix and all three posed for him. He also painted a lot of animals in Artis, A famous Zoo in the Netherlands.
Recurring topics in his work where: animals, portraits, flowers and plants.



A book was published about Henricus Rol since he was a remarkable person and artist:

Bol.com Cornelis Rol



Artists: Cornelis Rol

Cornelis Rol 1877-1963

Cornelis Rol
An commercial ad made by C.Rol

Cornelis Rol was born in Edam the Netherlands in 1877 and died in 1963.

He was a Dutch graphic artist, a painter, a litho-artist and an illustration artist. He was known for the work he did for the “Verkade” company. He made illustrations, as well as the covers for albums that the Verkade company published.

Cornelis Rol went to the art school in Edam and the “Rijksnormaalschool” in Amsterdam. Later he became a drawing teacher at the “Kunstnijverheidsschool Quellinus” in Amsterdam. Cornelis Rol made fantastic woodcut art as well as designs for ads for several companies.

His son Hendricus Rol also became an artist, painter and illustrator and also worked on the famous Dutch Verkade albums.




More about Cornelis and Hendrikus Rol en their work for the Verkade company  can be found here:

Het Verkade Paveljoen

The linosaurus, cacti in colour woodblockprints

Artists: Bernadina Midderigh Bokhorst

Bernadina Bokhorst

Bernadina BokhorstBernardina Midderigh-Bokhorst

Midderigh-Bokhorst (Surabaya May 31, 1880 – Wassenaar June 20, 1972) was a Dutch painter, illustrator, graphic designer, litho artist and drawing artist.

She made many book illustrations, some with her own texts. She also made many school posters and children’s room decorative prints. She made murals for an exposition called “the Female”, 1813-1913. She had her education at the “Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst” in The Hague.

She was married with the graphical artist Jean Jaques Midderigh.

Source: Wikipedia