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George Hendrik Breitner

George Hendrik Breitner (September 12, 1857 – June 5, 1923) was a Dutch painter and photographer. An important figure in Amsterdam Impressionism, he is noted especially for his paintings of street scenes and harbours in a realistic style. He painted en plein air, and became interested in photography as a means of documenting street life and atmospheric effects—rainy weather in particular—as reference materials for his paintings. He was also friends with Vincent van Gogh and they often went sketching in the working-class districts of The Hague. Breitner was motivated to do so because he regarded himself as a painter of the common folk. Van Gogh, initially at any rate, was more intent on recruiting models. It is likely that Breitner introduced van Gogh to the novels of Émile Zola and the cause of social realism. He did also some experiments with etching, about 20 different etches are known.


Johannes Arnoldus Heijermans

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