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Anton Pieck and the magic lantern

It's a strange thing: Though it's not an exaggeration to call the Dutch painter and  graphic artist Anton Pieck the painter of the 'good old days' there's only one work in his whole oeuvre showing a magic lantern. It's the picture below.

Kerstboek van Zonneschijn by D.A. Cramer-Schaap, ed. C.A. Spin & Zoon N.V. Amsterdam/W. de Haan, Utrecht 1939.

Many of Anton Piecks works were especially made for printing on calendars. This picture was used for the calendar of 1985. That means that the original water colour has been made in 1983 or 1984. The projected picture made its first appearance as frontispiece of the book 'Kerstboek van Zonneschijn' in 1939.

The reason why Pieck only once pictured the magic lantern can only be guessed at. One good reason could be the fact that magic lantern shows necessarily take place in the dark and though Pieck was a real expert, a magician with light and dark like a Rembrandt, he was not. He was the painter of the detail. That's why he lets the oil lamp be burning in the scene above. With the very weak light sources at that time there must have been seen not much from the picture on the screen. Never mind, the little flowers on the wallpaper, the graining of the wood, they are clear to distinguish.

This 'artistic freedom' is not strange: One also finds pictures on the covers of boxes from magic lanterns on which the lights are glazing unlikely during de performances.

After this painting Pieck got enough of it and went on painting other objects. In the open, where the sun is shining, or in an illuminated room, where one can see all things clearly.



Anton Pieck, his life and his work

Anton Franciscus Pieck was born in Den Helder on April 19th 1895, together with his twin brother Henri, and died in Overveen on November 24th, 1987.
He began to display an aptitude and appetite for drawing and painting at a very young age.
Already at the age of 11, he wins a price for an oil painting of a still life. At the age of 17, he obtains his drawing certificate secondary school. From 1920 until his retirement in 1960, Pieck is attached to the Kennemer Lyceum in Bloemendaal as a drawing-art-master.
The work of Anton Pieck contains among other things paintings in oil and watercolour, etchings, woodcarvings, engravings, litho's, traveldrawings and (book-) illustrations.
His birth announcement cards, calendars, and Christmas cards are widely known.
He receives several prices for his work, including the Dr. Egerton-Crispin-price (in 1929 for his own exlibris).
In 1952 the Dutch Fairypark 'De Efteling', designed by Pieck is opened. Later he designs by order of the family Lips, the 'Autotron' in Drunen, which was finished in 1972.
Regularly, exhibitions of his work are being organised.
On June 16th, 1983 a bronze 'Head' of Anton Pieck (designed by Kees Verkade) is revealed in Overveen.
In 1984, on September 6th, the Anton Pieck Museum, in Hattem was opened officially by HRH Princess Margriet.
His great carrier came to an end in 1987, but his work will live on for centuries to come.


Two merchandising articles: A Jumbo jig saw puzzle and the week calendar 2017.

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