L. (LEO) GESTEL 1881 Woerden - 1941 Hilversum Along the Amstel

Oil / Canvas: 25 x 33,5 cm

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In this summery painting the water of the Amstel river plays the main role. Leo Gestel evoked the atmosphere of a summer day by tiny strokes of colour. It was the beginning of a development that would make him one of the major modernists of the 20th century. As an impressionist he was especially concerned with portraying the atmosphere at a certain moment. He sought a modern visual language, inspired by his great predecessors Jan Toorop and Vincent van Gogh. Our painting shows how Gestel used the shades of the surrounding natural environment in stripes and strokes in the water, portraying the babbling water surface. His brushstrokes shaped the water in light, modern colours.

L. (LEO) GESTEL1881 Woerden - 1941 Hilversum

Along the Amstel

Material & Technique
Oil / Canvas

Height: 25 cm

Width: 33,5 cm

Lower left "Leo Gestel"

Kunsthandel Schüller & Eisenloeffel, The Hague, 1913

Private collection The Netherlands

Kunsthandel M.L. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1969

Collection De Hoog-Vogel, Amsterdam, 1972

Private collection The Netherlands

'Tentoonstelling van schilderijen en teekeningen van Leo Gestel (werk van 1906 tot 1913)', Schüller & Eisenloeffel, Den Haag, March - April 1913, no. 24

'Leo Gestel en Jan Sluijters, 1905-1920', Kunsthandel M.L. de Boer, Amsterdam, 15 November - 20 December 1969, no. 34

'Nederland waterland, de relatie tussen land en water in de Nederlandse schilderkunst van 1500-nu', Kunsthandel M.L. de Boer, Amsterdam, 13 January - 19 February 1972, no. 139

"Gestel als Modernist", Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, 4 June - 31 July 1983, no. 5

"Gestel als Modernist", Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, 20 August - 16 October 1983, no. 5

Frans Halsmuseum, Noordbrabants Museum, "Leo Gestel als modernist", 1983, Haarlem, 's-Hertogenbosch, p. 48, no. 5

Artwork is included in the digital "Catalogue Raisonné" by the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD) in The Hague




Leendert Gestel (Leo is short for the nickname Leonardo given to him by his Amsterdam friends.) largely determined the face of Dutch modern art. Together with Jan Sluijters and Piet Mondriaan, he was the frontrunner of Dutch Modernism. By this term we mean the Dutch version of the then international avant-garde movements pointillism, fauvism, cubism and futurism. Gestel sought inspiration in each of these directions. In 1903, despite his father's opposition, he was able to call himself a free artist. By now he was living in Amsterdam, obtained his teaching certificate in drawing and had begun the evening course at the Rijksacademie at A. Allebé. His studio at 2nd Jan Steenstraat in Amsterdam became a meeting place for artists. His trips together with Jan Sluiters to cities like Paris, Antwerp and Brussels became of lasting influence on his work. In 1912, he settled in Bergen with his wife Ann. His work was bought early on by collectors J.F.S. Esser, Piet Boendermakers and Hélène Kröller - Muller. His great talent for drawing, in addition to his development as a painter, has always remained important, especially after the modernist period. However, the smoothly drawn pastels were also popular at the beginning of his career.