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Thérèse Schwartze

Mother and Her Children in Church


Thérèse Schwartze
Amsterdam 1851 – Amsterdam 1918


Mother and Her Children in Church




Oil on canvas


195.6 x 139.7 cm


Gift of Lord Strathcona and family, inv. 1927.397


Western Art

Thérèse Schwartze trained in Munich with Gabriel Max and Karl von Piloty, and studied in Paris under Jean-Jacques Henner. This painting bears eloquent witness to her artistic sensitivity and technical mastery, and reflects the influence of French academic painting and her Hague School contemporary Jozef Israëls. Both touching and unaffected, the grouping of this peasant woman seated with her three children is shown discreetly waiting against a church wall alongside a bulletin dated February 1886 and bearing the word “poor” – doubtlessly an appeal for charity. Schwartze was familiar with William Bouguereau’s work, but her painting is closer to the unaffected spirit of the Dutch genre, which presents a frank portrait of the daily life of ordinary people.

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