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Kaemmerer, Frederik

Frederik Hendrik Kaemmerer

1839-1902 Dutch

Born in the Hague, Holland in 1839, Kaemmerer divided his life between his native city and Paris. A student of painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme, Kaemmerer made his professional début in 1870. He began his career by painting landscapes and historic genre scenes inspired by the social mores of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He achieved a great deal of success particularly with his portraits of subjects from eras of the Directoire and the First Empire, as well as with his small, highly finished portraits of elegant women. These “merveilleuses”, painted in lively colors with a meticulous touch, were, like the work of William Bouguereau, extremely popular with the American clientele. In 1874, Kemmerer won a medal of Paris, and in 1889, he won a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. As his career progressed, Kaemmerer’s manner and brushwork became much freer. In fact, certain works, particularly landscapes, display the bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors of Impressionism. In 1902, at the age of 63, Kaemmerer ended his life in his Paris workshop.


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