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Marius, G. H. Hermine

    Full Name: Marius, G. H. Hermine

    Other Names:

    • G. H. Hermine Marius

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 1854

    Date Died: 1919

    Place Born: Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands

    Place Died: The Hague, South Holland, Netherlands

    Home Country/ies: Netherlands

    Subject Area(s): Dutch (culture or style), nineteenth century (dates CE), and painting (visual works)

    Career(s): art critics and art historians


    Writer on nineteenth-century Dutch painting; painter and art critic. As a young girl, Marius learned painting and drawing with Jan Striening (1827-1903) in Deventer. Around 1880, she became a pupil of August Allebé (1838-1927) at the Amsterdam Academy of Fine Arts. In 1883, she settled in The Hague as a painter. Her works, drawings, watercolors, and paintings, mostly kept in private collections, are not widely known. Letters written by the painter Jan Toorop (1858-1928) to Marius reveal some information on her work. From 1891 onward, she began publishing art criticism in various Dutch periodicals, journals, and newspapers, mostly on contemporary painters who worked in The Hague. She also occasionally wrote about events and developments taking place in museums. Among her articles in De Gids are a series of studies on the English painter and art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900), which she also included in her 1899 monograph on this artist, John Ruskin, een inleiding tot zijn werken. Another contribution to De Gids, in 1903, dealt with Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). In the same year she published her important survey on Dutch nineteenth-century painting, De Hollandsche schilderkunst in de negentiende eeuw. Among the artists whose works are described or mentioned in the book are 16 female painters. Several of these artists she knew personally, including the so-called Hague School painters, whose works she admired and described with empathic dedication. The information provided was partly gathered by her self and partly culled from existing reference works, including the three-volume 1857-1864 dictionary by Christiaan Kramm, De levens en werken der Hollandsche en Vlaamsche kunstschilders, beeldhouwers, graveurs en bouwmeesters van den vroegsten tot op onze tijd. Marius grouped the painters together according to the specific genre, or the school to which they belonged. The book was well received in the art world, and Wilhelm Martin, then assistant director of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, appreciated its art historical value. It was translated in German (1906) and in English (1908). The publication of her book enabled Marius to earn her livelihood as an author, and she decided to stop painting. In 1905, she wrote a booklet for children on Rembrandt, and in 1906 she produced a 1907 calendar book on Jan Steen. In 1909, she coauthored with Pieter Boele van Hensbroek (1853-1912) a publication on Museum Mesdag in The Hague, and, in 1910, she translated in Dutch the 1909 survey on nineteenth-century painting by Léonce Bénédite, La peinture au XIXième siècle, in which she revised the chapter on Dutch painters. Between 1895 and 1907, she was an art critic for the newspaper Het Vaderland, and subsequently, until 1916, for Het Nieuws van den Dag. In 1917 she coauthored a monograph on Johannes Bosboom (1817-1891) with Wilhelm Martin. In 1919 Marius worked on a revised edition of her 1903 study on Dutch nineteenth-century painting, but she was then in very poor health and died in the same year. The book was posthumously published in 1920, with an introduction by Martin. An expanded version of the 1908 English edition was published in 1973, by the British art writer Geraldine Norman. While reproducing the content of the original, Norman added a number of artists not discussed by Marius. Unfortunately, she mistook Marius for a male author, due perhaps to the fact that Marius signed her work with the initials only of her first and middle name. In the 1930 volume of Thieme-Becker’s Allgemeines Lexikon Marius is correctly mentioned as a female portrait and still life painter, as well as an author. Marius had a many-sided relationship with the artistic milieu to which she belonged as a painter and art critic. She had connections with leading persons active in the art market and the museum world. Abraham Bredius was among them. In his obituary on Marius in Onze Kunst Bredius wrote that she had played a significant role in Dutch art criticism.

    Selected Bibliography

    [complete bibliography:] Bibliografie Hermine Marius in Marcus-De Groot, Yvette. Kunsthistorische vrouwen van weleer: De eerste generatie in Nederland voor 1921. Hilversum: Verloren, 2003, pp. 409-411; De Hollandsche schilderkunst in de negentiende eeuw. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1903, revised edition: 1920, English, Dutch Painting in the Nineteenth Century. London: Alexander Moring, 1908; Norman, Geraldine, ed. Dutch Painters of the 19th Century, by Marius. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1973; and Boele van Hensbroek, P. A. M. Het Museum Mesdag en zijne Stichters. Amsterdam: Scheltema & Holkema, 1909; and Bénédite, Léonce, De Schilderkunst der XIXde eeuw. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1910; and Martin, W. Johannes Bosboom. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1917.


    [review] Martin, W. De Hollandsche schilderkunst in de XIXe eeuw. De Nederlandsche Spectator (1903): 85-86; B[redius] G. H. Marius. Onze Kunst 18/36 (1919): 115-116; Martin, W. Bij den tweeden druk. in Marius, G.H. De Hollandsche schilderkunst in de negentiende eeuw. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1920, pp. VIII-XII; Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler 24 (1930): 116; Scheen, Pieter A. Lexicon Nederlandse Beeldende Kunstenaars 1750-1880. The Hague, 1981, pp. 334-335; Van Wezel, G. Waarde Mejuffrouw Marius. Brieven van Jan Toorop. Jong Holland 1, 4 (1985): 2-27; Rappard, W.F. Een negentiende-eeuwse kunsthistorica van naam: G.H. Marius RKD bulletin 2/1 (1994): 1-4; Rappard, Willem Frederik. Gerharda Hermina Marius. The Dictionary of Art 20 (1996): 437; Marcus-De Groot, Yvette. Kunsthistorische vrouwen van weleer: De eerste generatie in Nederland voor 1921. Hilversum: Verloren, 2003, pp. 84, 204-223.

    Contributors: Monique Daniels


    Monique Daniels. "Marius, G. H. Hermine." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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