HENDRIKUS JACOBUS ESHUIJS: design for a poster for the play Gijsbrecht van Aemstel by Joost van den Vondel
Signed below right, gouache with ground drawing in charcoal on paper, dimensions 160 x 82 cm. Price € 250.
This large-format poster design takes you back to the beginning of the last century, when performances of the Dutch theater classics were still one of the highlights of nightlife. However, Gijsbrecht van Aemstel still manages to charm today, as witnessed by the recent series of performances by Het Toneel Speelt. Due to its vertical orientation and the subdued red and black, this authentic design by Hendrik Jacob Eshuijs comes into its own in a central and well-lit spot in a high room or hall. If desired, Ars Decora can take care of the framing for you.
The craftsman, painter and sculptor H.J. Eshuijs lived and worked in Rotterdam. Eshuijs is a relatively unknown artist who has practiced various styles, including Symbolism, Art Deco and Cubism. Around 1914, Eshuijs probably attended classes at the Rotterdam Academy of Art as an evening student. In 1912 he is mentioned in the address book as 'drawer' by profession, which suggests that he was associated with a furniture factory or independent design studio as a designer. Designs for wallpapers, a ceiling piece and two tondos date from this period. A design for a ceramic commemorative plate on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Rotterdam Conservatory dates from a later period. Eshuijs has also produced monumental wall paintings according to the renowned art dealer Simonis and Buunk. In 1914 Eshuijs received an honorable mention for a design with the motto 'Labour'. A year later, he was awarded a silver medal for signature, for a design with the motto 'Black and White'.
From the symbolist drawings known to us it can be concluded that Eshuijs was a very gifted draftsman. The poster that Eshuijs designed for Vondel's renowned play 'Gijsbrecht van Aemstel' is a fine sample of this versatile artist. Eshuijs was probably very attached to this design because it was part of his legacy. Various decorative artists have worked on 'Gijsbregt', including Der Kinderen, Zijderveld and Berlage. The latter designed the sets for the Amsterdam City Theater in 1894 and a poster of this well known craftsman is also known. The decorative design of Eshuijs therefore stands in a long tradition. The elegant initial and the end of the banner refer to Jugendstil of Liberty Style.