The Values of Jacob Maris

Jacob Henricus Maris (1837 – 1899) is a Dutch artist I found in a gallery in Assen (little town in Holland).
This particular image I find amazing. The day I discovered it, I’ve put it on my desktop. After that I went to sleep – and I dreamed I am there. I was in a world painted in this style – I was walking around analyzing how the light behaves. Very inspiring dream.
I’m sure it will show in my works – actually I’ll post one probably tomorrow. In any way it got me really motivated to paint outside.

Town - by Jacob Maris (1837-1899)

Town - by Jacob Maris (1837-1899)

The sky nearly seems to glow out of that picture, wouldn’t you say? I think its his impressive use of values (a topic I think a lot about recently, I had neglected it way too long).
For one it works because he made the contrast strong – he resisted the normal feeling to make the city bright and detailed as it looks to your eye when looking straight at it. Interestingly though, he also did not make it very dark, but uses a very narrow value spectrum – that is the important trick. He only saved those darkest darks for the figure, which gives the image a focus and keeps it warm and bright.

I’m surprised this artist is not more widely known. Anyways – here are some more – enjoy and start dreaming!

Jacob Maris (1837-1899) - Bomschuit op het Scheveningse strand

Bomschuit op het Scheveningse strand - by Jacob Maris (1837-1899)

Jacob Maris  (1837-1899) - Stenen Molen

Stenen Molen - by Jacob Maris (1837-1899)

Jacob Maris (1837-1899) - Woman Oil

Woman Oil (not the actual title) - by Jacob Maris (1837-1899)