This lithograph presents a scene from 1896 by Austrian artist Ferdinand Schmutzer, depicting a Dutch girl from Volendam clad in her traditional costume. She is accompanied by her rabbit, positioned close to the stove in the kitchen—a setup evocative of the simplicity and frugality of fisherman’s family life during that era. The image subtly hints at the stark reality of the time, where winters were brutal and food was a scarce commodity, raising the poignant question of the rabbit’s fate in the survival of the family.
Ferdinand Schmutzer came from a Viennese family of artists. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, initially sculpture and then painting. However he soon turned to etching which he was introduced to by his teacher at the Academy, William Unger. A state scholarship (the Rome Prize) allowed him a two-year stay in Holland (1894–1896). He visits for the first time Volendam, a picturesque fishing village north of Amsterdam. He has brought his photo camera and takes many shots on glass plates.
Schmutzer’s photos are impressions of botters (type of local fishing boats) in the harbour, scenes from everyday life such as women making the bed, sewing or reading. The photos also show his special interest in the traditional costumes of the people of Volendam.
After his first visit to Volendam, he stayed at Hotel Spaander and became friends with Leendert Spaander, the proprietor. Until 1926 Schmutzer will return many times to Volendam and stayed in touch with Leendert and his family.
Framed in recovered wood of schrapped boats and houses, like the ‘Botters’ (the traditional fishing vessels of Volendam) and the fishermen cottages of old Volendam.
As standard in our Gallery, this is the framed with special anti-reflective and virtually invisible glass (up to 70% UV protection).
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