Art has a long tradition of portraiture. In the 17th century women were still
mainly portrayed as ‘partners of’ and their likeness would generally hang
beside that of their husband. In the early 20th century, when Anna and
William Singer built their collection, the independent woman had become
a common and highly popular subject.
Anna Singer had several portraits of herself painted by artist friends like
Martin Borgord and Jacob Dooijewaard. She also collected many women’s
portraits. The refined portraits by Carolus-Duran and Gustave Jean Jacquet
in the first garden gallery reflect her classical and traditionally-oriented
taste. They contrast with the more impressionistic women’s portraits by
George Hendrik Breitner, Isaac Israels and Coba Ritsema that were added
to the collection later.
In the second garden gallery you will encounter some distinctive women
in vibrant colours painted by the ‘ultramodern’ Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel and
Kees van Dongen. Unfortunately, we do not know the identity of many of
the portrayed models, though we do know some. The exhibition sheds
light on the lives of these women immortalised in the Singer Collection.
the The White Blouse exhibit can be seen in the final garden gallery. There,
portraits by contemporary photographer Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot
Westerflier enter into a unique dialogue with the portrait Symphony in
White. The Girl in the Muslin Dress by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.