(Amsterdam 1860-1923 Amsterdam)
Waterloo bridge, London
Board, 31.8 x 38.2 cm; monogrammed
Promised gift, Ger Luijten, Paris
Breitner’s friend Willem Witsen stayed in London from October 1888 until January 1891. He made a series of paintings in which he avoided depicting the traditional tourist spots. Instead he opted for close-ups of recent architecture, preferably – influenced by Whistler’s nocturnes – at dusk. He himself wrote of ‘a mood of seriously heavy fatigue’. Here we can see Waterloo Bridge at the moment of transition from dusk to darkness. The manner of painting is unorthodox: Witsen suggested the boat in the foreground by reserving it in the deep brown background. The ochre water was touched in around it.