CLARA BUINING - BRUINS (1859 - 1922): The reading girl

Signed below right, oil on canvas, dimensions 58 x 46 cm (canvas), 73 x 62 cm (frame). Price € 950.

The painting "The reading girl" illustrates Ars Decora's philosophy of bringing forgotten paintings with a decorative dimension to the attention of an art-loving audience. This particularly beautiful canvas was painted by Johanna Clara Buining-Bruins, known as an artist under the name Clara Bruins (1859-1922).

Clara Bruins - Potato peeling girl

Clara Bruins was born in Assen in the Northern Netherlands. She was educated at Minerva (1798) in Groningen, the most important art school in the north. Well-known alumni are Jozef Israëls (1824-1911), Otto Eerelman (1839-1926) and Henk Helmantel. In 1878 Bruins received an honorable mention. At the exam a year later, she won four medals, including the large silver medal in the name of King Willem III. In 1882 and 1883 Bruins, like Jan Voerman (1857-1941) and Jac. Van Looy (1855-1930) received a royal grant to further develop herself as an artist. During this period, Bruins also exhibited at exhibitions, including an interior piece in Rotterdam in 1882. Perhaps this was the canvas that we show you here. After Bruins married with the art teacher Jean Buining (1857-1914) in 1885, the talented artist disappeared from view. Later she would make illustrations for a children's book. A self-portrait of Bruins and two other beautiful interior paintings are known, including a girl peeling potatoes.

Clara Bruins - Self portrait

To the left of the beautifully framed "reading girl", Bruins has placed a chair, which gives depth to the performance. In addition to the attentively reading girl in her beautifully upholstered dress, the viewer's attention is drawn to the light from the window behind her. Bruins manages to evoke the atmosphere of a late nineteenth-century interior, with opulent draperies, portraits on display and a fashionable palm, and thus ranks alongside contemporary Hague School artists like Breitner. The seclusion and serene tranquility of the painting have a calming efect. At the same time, the deep, gilded frame provides it with a monumental character as a work of art. In a modern interior, this work is a resting point in the hectic of contemporary life. A canvas that provides peace of mind, but above all a beautiful wall decoration of a gifted, wrongly "forgotten" artist.

The canvas is in excellent condition. It is undamaged except for some minor historical retouches and is reinforced with a support cloth.

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