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Jan W. Grinwis Plaat Stultjes (1898-1934) a South African artist in Gent

Catalogue of the selling exhibition in Galerie St-John, Gent from 2/12 to 31/12/2022. A rare ensemble of more than 50 original works by this artist, whose work has not been publicly shown since 1925.

Catalogue of the selling exhibition in Galerie St-John, Gent from 2/12 to 31/12/2022. A rare ensemble of more than 50 original works by this artist, whose work has not been publicly shown since 1925.

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Galerie St-John, <strong>Gent</strong><br />

st-john.be


<strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (<strong>1898</strong>-<strong>1934</strong>)<br />

A <strong>South</strong> <strong>African</strong> <strong>artist</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Gent</strong><br />

EXPO/ 2-31 Dec. / Galerie St-John, <strong>Gent</strong><br />

Biography


Gerard <strong>Stultjes</strong> family <strong>in</strong> Pretoria, with <strong>Jan</strong> to the right


From Pretoria to Ghent.<br />

On 5 September 1896, Gerard(us) Adrianus <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Amsterdam 1861-<br />

Pretoria 1925) leaves the Netherlands by ship, head<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>South</strong> Africa to<br />

take up a position <strong>in</strong> Pretoria as an executive for the Amsterdam General<br />

Society of Life Insurance and Annuity.<br />

Two days before his departure, he marries Carol<strong>in</strong>a Christ<strong>in</strong>a Maria Thecla<br />

<strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> (Arnhem 1857 – <strong>South</strong> Africa <strong>1934</strong>), who accompanies her<br />

brand new husband, together with two of three daughters from her previous<br />

marriage. (Carol<strong>in</strong>a had divorced her first husband, Willem Stakeman, the<br />

year before after 13 years of marriage 1 .)<br />

The <strong>Stultjes</strong>-<strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> family settled <strong>in</strong> Pretoria and it was there, on<br />

October 10, <strong>1898</strong>, that <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> was born.<br />

Based on the photographs of the <strong>Stultjes</strong> family we were shown, <strong>Jan</strong>'s<br />

childhood seems to have been quite carefree. The <strong>Stultjes</strong> family seems to<br />

be well off. Young <strong>Jan</strong> has three older half-sisters who can take care of him.<br />

1<br />

Only two daughters – Anna Sophia Frederika (°1883) and Ida Elisabeth (°1885) – are listed<br />

on the passenger list of the ship on which the family sailed to <strong>South</strong> Africa. Apparently the<br />

youngest daughter Maria Johanna (°1888) jo<strong>in</strong>ed the family at a later date. The family<br />

photo of the <strong>Stultjes</strong>, dur<strong>in</strong>g their stay <strong>in</strong> Pretoria, shows at least <strong>Jan</strong> and his three halfsisters.


Gerard had <strong>Jan</strong>'s family name changed <strong>in</strong> 1909, possibly at the request of<br />

his wife who wished to see her historical family names cont<strong>in</strong>ued: “[…] for the<br />

benefit of his m<strong>in</strong>or son <strong>Jan</strong> Willem <strong>Stultjes</strong> […]” the family names “<strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong><br />

<strong>Plaat</strong>” to add his name 2 . From now on he will be officially called <strong>Jan</strong> Willem<br />

<strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>, a long name that <strong>Jan</strong> will eagerly use. As an <strong>artist</strong> and<br />

as an actor, set or costume designer, he signs <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>, <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> or <strong>Jan</strong><br />

(sometimes Jean) <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (and all k<strong>in</strong>ds of monogram<br />

variants) as if we were deal<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with different <strong>artist</strong>s.<br />

The <strong>Stultjes</strong> family returns to<br />

Europe not long after 1909 and<br />

stays <strong>in</strong> Amsterdam for a short<br />

time, before mov<strong>in</strong>g to Ghent <strong>in</strong><br />

1911 3 . Father Gerard <strong>Stultjes</strong> was<br />

<strong>in</strong>structed to set up a<br />

department of an <strong>in</strong>surance<br />

company, the Amsterdamse<br />

Algemene Maatschappij van<br />

Levensverzeker<strong>in</strong>g en Lijfrente.<br />

2<br />

Document requested by the Ghent adm<strong>in</strong>istration on the occasion of the marriage of <strong>Jan</strong><br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> and Jeanne Seriacop on 17/11/1917. To this day, the archive of the <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong><br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> family conta<strong>in</strong>s a small document (by <strong>Jan</strong>?) with the explanation of the coats of<br />

arms and orig<strong>in</strong> of the <strong>Plaat</strong> and <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> families.<br />

3<br />

The Personalausweis of <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>, delivered <strong>in</strong> 1917, states that he has been<br />

stay<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Ghent s<strong>in</strong>ce September 1, 1911.


Apparently, <strong>Jan</strong> received his school education partly <strong>in</strong> Pretoria, partly <strong>in</strong> the<br />

Netherlands and it was possibly cont<strong>in</strong>ued <strong>in</strong> Ghent between 1911 and 1913.<br />

He is <strong>in</strong> any case referred to as a “student” when he enrols at the Ghent<br />

Academy: at the age of fifteen, <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> registers for the Draw<strong>in</strong>g class,<br />

fourth grade, at the Ghent Academy, school year 1913-1914 4 . His results show<br />

that <strong>Jan</strong> is talented: he comes second <strong>in</strong> his class after Gaston Pauwels<br />

(1897-1983) from Ghent 5 . <strong>Stultjes</strong> also<br />

came second for the art history<br />

lessons and received a 7 out of 10 for<br />

the anatomy course. The draw<strong>in</strong>g class<br />

is led by Carolus Tremerie (1858-1945),<br />

a pa<strong>in</strong>ter from Ghent who was best<br />

known for his pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>gs and pastels<br />

with begu<strong>in</strong>ages as a subject.<br />

Tremerie's works <strong>in</strong>itially show the<br />

<strong>in</strong>fluence of the French pa<strong>in</strong>ter<br />

Bastien-Lepage, but around the turn of<br />

the century we see an evolution<br />

towards post-impressionism<br />

(lum<strong>in</strong>ism).<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> als veertienjarige<br />

4<br />

Ghent City Archives, ASK 307, IV.105 : « Section de Dess<strong>in</strong> 1913-1914 /Inscription d'élèves 1913-<br />

1914 », s.p. <strong>Stultjes</strong> is listed as a “student” with a secondary education diploma. The <strong>Stultjes</strong><br />

family then resided at Citadellaan, 40 <strong>in</strong> Ghent.<br />

5<br />

Royal Academy of F<strong>in</strong>e Arts Ghent, Program of the Award Ceremony for the school year<br />

1913-1914, Ghent, October 1914. <strong>Jan</strong> receives the 2nd First Prize, after Gaston Pauwels, with 9/10<br />

of the po<strong>in</strong>ts.


<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> may still be tak<strong>in</strong>g art history lessons with Jean Delv<strong>in</strong> (1853-<br />

1922). These lessons with slides were very popular with young pa<strong>in</strong>ters. After<br />

all, Delv<strong>in</strong> does not limit himself to discuss<strong>in</strong>g old art, but also highlights the<br />

modern art movements of the moment. He also speaks of the postimpressionists<br />

and of figures such as Picasso or Chagall. Delv<strong>in</strong> appears to<br />

have had an enormous <strong>in</strong>fluence on his students, and was idolized by them.<br />

The outbreak of World War I thoroughly disrupts daily and <strong>artist</strong>ic life. Dur<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the war, the Ghent academy found it very difficult to organize lessons <strong>in</strong> a<br />

normal and regular manner. After all, many students and teachers are<br />

called up as soldiers. Sixteen-year-old <strong>Stultjes</strong> escapes the Belgian army<br />

service, because he still has the Dutch nationality.<br />

His good friend and very talented pa<strong>in</strong>ter Maurice Mart<strong>in</strong>y (1889-1914) is less<br />

fortunate. He was called up and was one of the first <strong>artist</strong>s to die <strong>in</strong> 1914. One<br />

of the most beautiful works left by this now forgotten <strong>artist</strong> was a Fauvist<br />

portrait of his friend <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>.<br />

Portrait of <strong>Jan</strong> by Maurice Mart<strong>in</strong>y, <strong>Gent</strong>, June 1914


Dur<strong>in</strong>g the war years, 1914-1918, <strong>Jan</strong> seems to have taken no further lessons.<br />

However, because the academy archives for the period 1914-1918 are<br />

<strong>in</strong>complete (certa<strong>in</strong>ly towards the end of the war), we cannot state this with<br />

certa<strong>in</strong>ty.<br />

Meanwhile, he is occupied with other th<strong>in</strong>gs. In 1916, <strong>Jan</strong> receives a second<br />

prize from the “Nederlandsche Declamation” department of the Royal<br />

Conservatory of Music <strong>in</strong> Ghent 6 . <strong>Jan</strong> becomes a theatre enthusiast and<br />

from now on he will develop a double career, as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter on the one hand<br />

and as an actor on the other. The <strong>artist</strong> unites both talents <strong>in</strong> his designs for<br />

sets, masks and costumes.<br />

6<br />

Royal Music Conservatory of Ghent, Prijskamp 1916, [Ghent], s.e., pp. 18-19. He took lessons<br />

there with Mrs. J. Gevaert-Steven, with whom he rema<strong>in</strong>ed good friends. On May 3, 1924, he<br />

received two photos of her with a dedication.


Jeanne Seriacop and <strong>Jan</strong> at their marriage


Marriage to Jeanne Seriacop and the young pa<strong>in</strong>ter.<br />

The Seriacop-De Ronne family was very well off. Doctor Edgard Seriacop<br />

(1856-1908) and his wife Alice de Ronne (1863-1941) – heiress of a chicory<br />

factory – had two children, Paul (1895-1915) and Jeanne (1897-1961). When<br />

Edgard died <strong>in</strong> 1908, his widow decided to move to the Coupure <strong>in</strong> Ghent, so<br />

she could closely monitor the day-to-day management of the chicory<br />

factory until her son was old enough to cont<strong>in</strong>ue the bus<strong>in</strong>ess. Because Paul<br />

Seriacop died on December 11, 1915 along with more than 130 others <strong>in</strong> the<br />

explosion of an ammunition depot <strong>in</strong> Graville Le Havre, the family was<br />

deprived of son and successor.<br />

It is not clear how Jeanne Seriacop and <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> meet. The Ghent haute<br />

bourgeoisie, to which Jeanne and her mother belong, is a small world. The<br />

families often <strong>in</strong>termarry. <strong>Jan</strong> is certa<strong>in</strong>ly a remarkable appearance, 1.84<br />

meters tall, handsome, confident and well-read. Maybe they knew each<br />

other through theatre? Maybe the respective parents knew each other? It is<br />

very likely that Alice De Ronne’s <strong>in</strong>fluence will have been decisive <strong>in</strong> her<br />

daughter's marriage to a young man with <strong>South</strong> <strong>African</strong> roots, who also<br />

shows '<strong>artist</strong>ic <strong>in</strong>cl<strong>in</strong>ations'. <strong>Jan</strong>'s parents might also have been push<strong>in</strong>g him<br />

gently <strong>in</strong> the direction of f<strong>in</strong>ancial security. The marriage of Jeanne and <strong>Jan</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> Ghent on November 17, 1917 (he is 19, she is 20) appears to have been<br />

arranged.


<strong>Jan</strong> would abandon his <strong>artist</strong>ic<br />

ambitions and take over the<br />

management of the chicory<br />

factory. Jeanne Seriacop-<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> would be by his side. In<br />

any case, the photos from the<br />

early years of the marriage<br />

show a happy couple. The<br />

photos sometimes show a very<br />

natural, somewhat dishevelled<br />

Jeanne, who looks more like an<br />

<strong>artist</strong>'s wife than a daughter of<br />

an <strong>in</strong>dustrialist. <strong>Jan</strong> never<br />

looks casual on the<br />

photographs, his poses are clearly studied, as befits an actor.<br />

First of all, at the age of twenty, <strong>Jan</strong> still has to fulfil his military service <strong>in</strong> The<br />

Hague. He is certa<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> The Hague <strong>in</strong> April 1919, but it is not really<br />

clear how long he stayed there 7 . Dur<strong>in</strong>g his military service, <strong>Jan</strong> often visited<br />

Dutch relatives <strong>in</strong> The Hague.<br />

On <strong>Jan</strong>uary 23, 1920, Paul <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (1920-2006), the first son of<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> and Jeanne, is born. <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> seems to accept the role of factory<br />

director. On July 31, 1922, another son, Eric (1922-1965), is born.<br />

7<br />

In Bonte M., Brysse A., Prevernier W., Storme M., Van Eenoo R., De Coupure <strong>in</strong> Ghent –<br />

Separation and Connection, Ghent, U<strong>Gent</strong>, 2009, p. 286 it is mentioned that <strong>Jan</strong>, with the<br />

profession of "Factory director" left <strong>in</strong> 1918 on a mobilization order.


<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> with sons<br />

Paul and Eric<br />

1922 will be a key<br />

year for <strong>Stultjes</strong>. He<br />

decides to give up<br />

runn<strong>in</strong>g his <strong>in</strong>-laws'<br />

factory and reenrol<br />

at the Ghent Academy 8 . After an absence of almost 10 years, he<br />

resumes the thread of his <strong>artist</strong>ic formation. In the 1922-1923 school year, his<br />

teachers <strong>in</strong>cluded Oscar Coddron (1889-1960) as a pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g/liv<strong>in</strong>g model<br />

teacher. However, Coddron, a post-impressionist pa<strong>in</strong>ter who was close<br />

friends with the most important <strong>artist</strong>s from Ghent and the region around<br />

S<strong>in</strong>t-Martens-Latem and De<strong>in</strong>ze, seems to have had little <strong>in</strong>fluence on him.<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> comes third <strong>in</strong> both the pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g class and composition. The<br />

follow<strong>in</strong>g year <strong>Jan</strong> comes fourth <strong>in</strong> the pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g class and second for<br />

composition. <strong>Jan</strong> has little contact with his fellow students, who also had<br />

little <strong>artist</strong>ic significance – apart from Raphaël De Buck (1902-1986). His<br />

friendships with<strong>in</strong> the Ghent art world all date back to before 1914.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> graduates <strong>in</strong> the year 1924-1925. He comes first <strong>in</strong> his class and<br />

also receives a second prize for composition.<br />

8<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to Baillieu 2009, p. 4-5 Alice De Ronne sold the chicory factory <strong>in</strong> 1922 as a result<br />

of this decision.


In 1925 he w<strong>in</strong>s the “Prix Jeanne Pipyn”, a prize awarded by the Academy to<br />

the most promis<strong>in</strong>g young pa<strong>in</strong>ter <strong>in</strong> his year of graduation 9 . <strong>Stultjes</strong>' entry, a<br />

stand<strong>in</strong>g nude, is both classic and modern.<br />

By w<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g the Pipyn prize, <strong>Stultjes</strong> establishes his reputation as an<br />

upcom<strong>in</strong>g talent. The prize ensures recognition among colleagues and<br />

collectors. However, after 1925, <strong>Jan</strong> does not really seem to come out with<br />

his art. The pa<strong>in</strong>ter is gradually be<strong>in</strong>g supplanted by the actor.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter: evolution and importance.<br />

The tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g at the Ghent Academy just before and after the First World War<br />

was of a very high level. <strong>Jan</strong> seems to have learned the most from his short<br />

pre-war studies. Influential figures from the previous generation such as<br />

Jean Delv<strong>in</strong>, teach at the Academy, as well as young <strong>artist</strong>s such as Frits<br />

Van den Berghe (1883-1939) and Carl de Cock (1879-1965). Van den Berghe,<br />

with whom <strong>Stultjes</strong> rema<strong>in</strong>s <strong>in</strong> contact even after the war, will become a<br />

guid<strong>in</strong>g figure for <strong>Stultjes</strong>. In addition, the somewhat older 'compagnon de<br />

route' Gaston Pauwels seems to have supported the <strong>artist</strong> <strong>in</strong> his<br />

development.<br />

9<br />

Gand Artistique – Art et Esthétique, n° 5, May 1925, 4ième année, p. 116: “Prix Jeanne Pipyn.<br />

Le prix Jeanne Pipyn pour la pe<strong>in</strong>ture a été accordé cette année à M. J. W. <strong>Plaat</strong>-<strong>Stultjes</strong><br />

[sic]. Les œuvres présentées au concours seront exposées au local de l’Académie Royale<br />

des Beaux Arts de Gand du 17 au 31 mai […] ». The w<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g work still belongs to the collection<br />

of the current KASK <strong>in</strong> Ghent.


<strong>Stultjes</strong>' early work from the period before 1920 is a mix between imitation of<br />

what was taught at the Ghent Academy and his own experiments.<br />

The earliest known works by <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> we can situate <strong>in</strong> time are two small<br />

works. The first, a view of a Ghent street corner from 1913, seems to have<br />

been an academic assignment and is a conventional work <strong>in</strong> all respects.<br />

The second work is more <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g. The small panel shows a still life with a<br />

non-European fetish image on a table. Style and colour seem to be<br />

<strong>in</strong>fluenced by the French modernist school. Probably <strong>in</strong>tended as an<br />

experiment and without direct consequences for his pre-war work, this work<br />

must have fasc<strong>in</strong>ated the <strong>artist</strong>. <strong>Stultjes</strong> kept the work and framed it,<br />

possibly he saw relevance <strong>in</strong> it for his later work.<br />

The young <strong>artist</strong> seeks <strong>in</strong>spiration from draftsmen such as Théophile-<br />

Alexandre Ste<strong>in</strong>len (1859-<br />

1923) or Ghent native Jules<br />

De Bruycker (1870-1945).<br />

Follow<strong>in</strong>g them, <strong>Stultjes</strong><br />

makes expressive<br />

(portrait) draw<strong>in</strong>gs that<br />

make his talent<br />

unmistakable.


However, <strong>Jan</strong> is also receptive to the <strong>in</strong>fluence of his fellow students.<br />

Maurice Mart<strong>in</strong>y's <strong>in</strong>timate and very precise draw<strong>in</strong>g style makes an<br />

<strong>in</strong>delible impression on him. Mart<strong>in</strong>y, who died much too early, creates a<br />

mysterious atmosphere <strong>in</strong> his draw<strong>in</strong>gs by fram<strong>in</strong>g his seem<strong>in</strong>gly everyday<br />

subjects <strong>in</strong> a specific way and draw<strong>in</strong>g them out very precisely. For <strong>Stultjes</strong>,<br />

the composition, the 'mise-en-place' of the subject of his works will rema<strong>in</strong><br />

very important. We also see this <strong>in</strong> the photograph the <strong>artist</strong> made of his<br />

family. He will cont<strong>in</strong>ue to use the draw<strong>in</strong>g technique similar to Mart<strong>in</strong>y’s<br />

style, for draw<strong>in</strong>g landscapes and <strong>in</strong>teriors.<br />

Gaston Pauwels is <strong>Jan</strong>'s closest friend. They draw together, share studio and<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (left) at the studio of Gaston Pauwels (right)


models and apparently have the same aesthetic vision. They pa<strong>in</strong>t each<br />

other's portraits and <strong>Jan</strong> makes a beautiful portrait of Pauwels' wife.<br />

Especially <strong>in</strong> the first half of the 1920s, the work of the two pa<strong>in</strong>ters is so close<br />

to each other that it sometimes becomes difficult to tell their works apart.<br />

They use almost the same colour palette, with warm reds predom<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

the <strong>in</strong>teriors and nudes. The pa<strong>in</strong>ters experience a similar evolution, from<br />

Fauvism to Expressionism, but from the second half of the 1920s they arrive<br />

at a fundamentally different result.<br />

Pauwels is a master pa<strong>in</strong>ter and colourist par excellence and likes to show<br />

this <strong>in</strong> his work. Georges Chabot writes about him: “Très tôt, il se manifeste<br />

beau pe<strong>in</strong>tre, en possession d'un métier sûr, épris d'harmonie, s'évertuant à<br />

donner à la couleur cet accent modulé qui rend le tableau sensible […]” 10<br />

In his work, <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> is aware of the importance of the mise-en-scene, of<br />

build<strong>in</strong>g up a composition, and often consciously looks for an imbalance to<br />

create tension. A nude by Pauwels, for example, is voluptuous and sensual.<br />

However, this is not the case with the stand<strong>in</strong>g nude with which <strong>Stultjes</strong> won<br />

the Pipyn Prize <strong>in</strong> 1925. Through compositional <strong>in</strong>terventions, <strong>Stultjes</strong> almost<br />

pushes us as spectators <strong>in</strong>to the role of voyeur. The mysterious character of<br />

the work raises questions <strong>in</strong> the viewer.<br />

The stand<strong>in</strong>g nude speaks of <strong>Stultjes</strong>' maturity as an <strong>artist</strong>. In addition to his<br />

'prouesse' as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter, this was undoubtedly the ma<strong>in</strong> reason for award<strong>in</strong>g<br />

him the "Prix Jeanne Pipyn".<br />

10<br />

Chabot G., Gaston Pauwels <strong>in</strong> Gand Artistique – Art et Esthétique, Août 1929, Huitième<br />

Année, n° 8, p. 184.


This award had a clear modernist profile. In<br />

this way, the Academy tried to give<br />

expressionist pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g a boost. Laureates of<br />

the prize, awarded s<strong>in</strong>ce 1920, <strong>in</strong>cluded the<br />

pa<strong>in</strong>ters Hubert Malfait (<strong>1898</strong>-1971) <strong>in</strong> 1922, <strong>Jan</strong><br />

Mulder (1897-1962) <strong>in</strong> 1923, Jos Verdegem<br />

(1897-1957) <strong>in</strong> 1926, Gaston Pauwels <strong>in</strong> 1929<br />

and Jeanne Van Cauwenberghe (1907-1941),<br />

pa<strong>in</strong>ter and sculptress, <strong>in</strong> 1931. These <strong>artist</strong>s<br />

were all active with<strong>in</strong> the Ghent Expressionist<br />

pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g movement.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> and Gaston Pauwels evolved towards Expressionism <strong>in</strong> the<br />

second half of the 1920s, like many of their contemporaries. Artists such as<br />

Jules De Sutter (1895-1970), Hubert Malfait and Maurice Schelck (1906-1978)<br />

made beautiful works <strong>in</strong> expressionist style <strong>in</strong> the period 1925-1930, follow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> the footsteps of Permeke (1886-1952), Gust de Smet (1877-1943 ) or Frits<br />

Van den Berghe.<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> and Pauwels, like their contemporaries, feel more for the reasoned,<br />

rather literary expressionism of Frits Van den Berghe than for the earthy and<br />

monumental violence of Permeke. Probably around 1927-1929, the first<br />

expressionist draw<strong>in</strong>gs and graphics began to appear <strong>in</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>' work.<br />

Pauwels' expressionist works were first shown at an exhibition <strong>in</strong> 1928 at<br />

Galerie Billiet <strong>in</strong> Ghent. To date, we have not yet discovered any<br />

expressionist oil work by <strong>Stultjes</strong>, only works on paper.


While <strong>Stultjes</strong>' pastels are technically close to those of Pauwels, their<br />

subjects are very different 11 . The subjects seem very commonplace and are<br />

magnified as a solitary given, giv<strong>in</strong>g them an alienat<strong>in</strong>g character. Solicited<br />

compositions evoke a charged atmosphere, and together with a specific<br />

representation of light and matter, the lack of <strong>in</strong>teraction between objects<br />

or figures is emphasized. His objects and people seem to house a k<strong>in</strong>dred<br />

soul. 'l'Ame des Choses', as it is also found <strong>in</strong> the work of Symbolist <strong>artist</strong>s<br />

and, for example, Edward Hopper (also a favourite of Gaston Pauwels).<br />

11<br />

See, among others, Pauwels Gaston, 'Homme et femme unis pour le charme', a pastel<br />

from 1928 from the former Jules Van Gheluwe collection, depicted <strong>in</strong> Gand Artistique 8e<br />

année Juillet 1929, n° 7, A. Cavens et M. Deruelle, Gaston Pauwels, p. 187


Photographs studio J.W.<strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>, ca. 1921


<strong>Stultjes</strong>' expressionist work, and especially his graphic work, shows the<br />

<strong>in</strong>fluence of Frits Van den Berghe. <strong>Stultjes</strong> knew the <strong>artist</strong> personally and<br />

visited the exhibitions of his work 12 . Like Van den Berghe, he tried to build his<br />

expressionist work around a narrative theme. The 'Bilder der Grossstadt' by<br />

<strong>Gent</strong>enaar Frans Masereel may also have <strong>in</strong>fluenced his new works.<br />

Moreover, it is not <strong>in</strong>conceivable that the revival of woodcarv<strong>in</strong>g, with<br />

Masereel and the other <strong>artist</strong>s of “De Vijf” as the ma<strong>in</strong> epigones 13 , among<br />

others, made <strong>Stultjes</strong> turn to the medium of the graphic arts.<br />

However, the flourish<strong>in</strong>g of a dist<strong>in</strong>ctly modernist art and cultural<br />

environment <strong>in</strong> the second half of the 1920s is short-lived. The crisis that<br />

unfolds <strong>in</strong> 1929 and peaks <strong>in</strong> Belgium around 1932-1933, creates a real<br />

battlefield among art galleries and magaz<strong>in</strong>es. Many <strong>artist</strong>s get <strong>in</strong>to trouble.<br />

Contracts with galleries are breached and most collectors of modern art<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d themselves <strong>in</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ancially difficult waters. The only hope of a steady<br />

<strong>in</strong>come for <strong>artist</strong>s is an appo<strong>in</strong>tment as a teacher at an academy or at a<br />

public <strong>in</strong>stitution. Another option is to change mediums – some <strong>artist</strong>s take<br />

up advertis<strong>in</strong>g design or turn to design for furniture or applied art. Many,<br />

such as Gaston Pauwels or Hubert Malfait, abandon modernism completely<br />

or temporarily and return to a more classical style of pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g that still<br />

appears to be sell<strong>in</strong>g. Some, like Victor Servranckx (1897-1965) do both to<br />

survive. Still others leave Ghent.<br />

12<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> owned the catalogue of the exhibition of Frits Van den Berghe <strong>in</strong> the Galerie<br />

Epoque <strong>in</strong> Brussels <strong>in</strong> 1928.<br />

13<br />

The Five – Les C<strong>in</strong>q, were the brothers Jozef and <strong>Jan</strong>-Frans Cantré, Joris M<strong>in</strong>ne, Henri Van<br />

Straeten and Frans Masereel. See exhibition catalogue L. Lebeer (<strong>in</strong>troduction), The five : <strong>Jan</strong><br />

Cantré, Jozef Cantré, Frans Masereel, Joris M<strong>in</strong>ne, Henri van Straten, Brussels, Kon<strong>in</strong>klijke<br />

Bibliotheek Albert I, 1/07-25/08/1967


This economic reality may have been a reason for <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> to become<br />

more <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the theatre world. He had already been active for several<br />

years <strong>in</strong> the Ghent theatre world, which at that time may have offered more<br />

perspectives than a career as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter.


The importance of graphics <strong>in</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>' oeuvre.<br />

As already mentioned, the graphic oeuvre of <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> occupies a very<br />

important place <strong>in</strong> his <strong>artist</strong>ic legacy. Although limited <strong>in</strong> number - we know<br />

of only 13 different executed pr<strong>in</strong>ts by the <strong>artist</strong> - their quality and modernity<br />

make them some of his most important work.<br />

It is possible that <strong>Stultjes</strong> first experimented with etch<strong>in</strong>g. We found a total of<br />

5 engraved z<strong>in</strong>c plates. The subjects: a landscape, an <strong>in</strong>timate <strong>in</strong>terior with a<br />

chair, a portrait of a woman <strong>in</strong> a chair and a portrait of men and women<br />

are <strong>in</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e with his draw<strong>in</strong>gs. However, we could not f<strong>in</strong>d contemporary pr<strong>in</strong>ts<br />

of these plates.<br />

It seems that afterwards <strong>Stultjes</strong> only made relief pr<strong>in</strong>ts. It is not really clear<br />

which technique he used, but it may be so-called 'spoon pr<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g'. The pr<strong>in</strong>ts<br />

always seem to have been made <strong>in</strong> a very limited edition. They are often<br />

unnumbered, two editions are numbered of 7 copies, a s<strong>in</strong>gle l<strong>in</strong>ocut bears<br />

the words 'exemplaire unique' <strong>in</strong> pencil. Remarkable is the use of blue <strong>in</strong>k for<br />

pr<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g these works. <strong>Stultjes</strong> turned many pr<strong>in</strong>ts <strong>in</strong>to m<strong>in</strong>iature pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>gs by<br />

colour<strong>in</strong>g them, mak<strong>in</strong>g them unique aga<strong>in</strong>.<br />

The subjects are rem<strong>in</strong>iscent of those of Masereel and the German<br />

Expressionist <strong>artist</strong>s, with typical images that keep recurr<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the 1920s and<br />

1930s: a fashionable couple out, a man <strong>in</strong> a library with an expressionist<br />

perspective, a clown, a man and woman <strong>in</strong> even<strong>in</strong>g dress, figures on a<br />

terrace of a café <strong>in</strong> the city, …


It is clear that the <strong>artist</strong> gets to the essence of his art <strong>in</strong> his graphic work. By<br />

omitt<strong>in</strong>g superfluous details, <strong>Stultjes</strong> creates, as it were, expressionist<br />

m<strong>in</strong>iatures, often pictur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>trovert people, solitary objects, silent<br />

landscapes..<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong>' graphics are undated. However, we suspect that three larger pr<strong>in</strong>ts<br />

are later than the smaller expressionist pr<strong>in</strong>ts. A recl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g nude, a sleep<strong>in</strong>g<br />

child (possibly son Eric?) and a self-portrait <strong>in</strong> profile deviate from the group<br />

discussed above. In these large pr<strong>in</strong>ts, and certa<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> the two portraits, the<br />

l<strong>in</strong>e is all-determ<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. An <strong>in</strong>fluence from Picasso seems to be present.


The Man of a Thousand Faces…


As already mentioned, <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> has been <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> theatre s<strong>in</strong>ce 1916,<br />

probably as an amateur player, <strong>in</strong> addition to his activities as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter. This<br />

seems to change from 1925-1926, when <strong>Stultjes</strong> seems to be consider<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

career as a professional actor.<br />

The first time his name is mentioned <strong>in</strong> connection with sets and costumes<br />

is for the play 'Beatrijs', which is first performed on August 14, 1924 14 . In the<br />

program booklet of the performance <strong>in</strong> March 25, <strong>in</strong> which <strong>Stultjes</strong> is<br />

mentioned as responsible for the set, he is still described as 'connected to 't<br />

Kon<strong>in</strong>klijk Nederlandsch Tooneel <strong>in</strong> Ghent'.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> also makes a large number of costume designs for the piece 'Elckerlyck',<br />

which was performed by the 'Vlaamsch Volkstoneel' <strong>in</strong> St-Niklaas on August<br />

30, 1925. However, we do not know if <strong>Stultjes</strong>' designs are executed this time,<br />

nor if he is already part of the group. In any case, his designs are noticed by<br />

several critics, not least by em<strong>in</strong>ent art critic Karel Van de Woestijne, who<br />

writes the follow<strong>in</strong>g about the exhibition of some designs <strong>in</strong> Brussels at<br />

Galerie de Spectacles <strong>in</strong> 1925:<br />

“[…] Ook van Beatrijs hangen daar decor- en costuum-ontwerpen van<br />

de hand van J. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong>-Stultjens. Hier geldt bijna het<br />

tegenovergestelde van de bij Maes' teeken<strong>in</strong>gen gemaakte<br />

opmerk<strong>in</strong>g; het decor van Beatrijs, zooals wij het zagen te <strong>Gent</strong>, was<br />

14<br />

In 1925, <strong>Stultjes</strong> made designs for the stage set and costumes of 'Beatrijs' (the set was<br />

reportedly based on Herman Van Overbeke's <strong>in</strong>structions), for a later performance on 1 and<br />

2 March 1925. This was probably his first assignment for the Vlaamsch Volkstoneel. For an<br />

illustration of this, see Lode Monteyne, Spiegel van het Modern Tooneel <strong>in</strong> Vlaanderen,<br />

Antwerp, Jos. <strong>Jan</strong>ssens, 1929, outside text plate relative to p. 96 & Willem Putman, Tooneel-<br />

Groei, St-Baafs-Brugge, Excelsior, 1926, plates 33-35, p. 272,273,288. This author mentions on<br />

p. 328 that <strong>Stultjes</strong>' designs were <strong>in</strong>deed executed.


mooier dan het ontwerp. Dat J. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong>-Stultjens echter we1 iets<br />

kan, bewijst hij <strong>in</strong> de fijn genuanceerde costuums voor Elckerlyck,<br />

waarvan eene vertoon<strong>in</strong>g door het "<strong>Gent</strong>sch Verbond voor Katholiek<br />

Tooneel" wordt voorbereid. In die teeken<strong>in</strong>gen bekoort een nietgezochte<br />

naïeveteit, die bij de <strong>in</strong>kleed<strong>in</strong>g van laatstgenoemd stuk<br />

uitstekend past.” 15<br />

In 1926, accord<strong>in</strong>g to Monteyne, he is a member of the new '(Catholic)<br />

Vlaamsch Volkstoneel' led by the Dutchman – and therefore fellow<br />

countryman - Johan De Meester Jr. (1897-1986) 16 . In addition to his<br />

reputation as a womanizer, De Meester is held <strong>in</strong> great regard and respect<br />

<strong>in</strong> the (<strong>in</strong>ter)national theatre world. He renews the old-fashioned Flemish<br />

theatre by focus<strong>in</strong>g on dar<strong>in</strong>g expressionist sets and costumes <strong>in</strong><br />

collaboration with well-known and lesser-known <strong>artist</strong>s. The expressive use<br />

of light<strong>in</strong>g and the play<strong>in</strong>g of modern pieces is also unseen. In this way, De<br />

Meester tries to connect with modern German and Russian theatre. In a<br />

short time he has succeeded <strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g a fusion between modern theatre,<br />

contemporary literature and avant-garde art. It is therefore not surpris<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that <strong>Stultjes</strong> quickly feels at home <strong>in</strong> this world.<br />

15<br />

Karel Van De Woestijne, An exhibition of stage sets, costumes and props <strong>in</strong> the Galerie de<br />

'Spectacles'. The Theater du Mairais. The Flemish Theater. The tradition of the<br />

Muntschouwburg. The avant-garde scene. <strong>in</strong> Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant ( N.R.C.), 30<br />

September 1925<br />

16<br />

See Monteyne 1929, p. 17 (footnote)


<strong>Stultjes</strong> designs sets and costumes, but is <strong>in</strong>variably referred to as an actor<br />

<strong>in</strong> the group's lists, <strong>in</strong> contrast to, for example, Victor Servranckx, Karel Maes<br />

and Alfred Ost, who belong to the '<strong>artist</strong>ic section' 17 .<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> is praised several times for his act<strong>in</strong>g. For example, <strong>in</strong> the 1929 play<br />

'Barabbas' by M. De Ghelderode, he is praised for his <strong>in</strong>terpretation of<br />

'Caïphas' 18 . One of the highlights of his career undoubtedly is the<br />

performance of "Lucifer" at the "Théâtre des Champs Elysées" <strong>in</strong> 1927, where<br />

he plays the role of "Belial". This performance will def<strong>in</strong>itively establish the<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternational reputation of the 'Vlaamsch Volkstoneel' and of De Meester 19 .<br />

<strong>Stultjes</strong> uses his creativity not only to make designs for costumes and sets.<br />

He is also known as 'the man with a thousand faces', due to his talent for<br />

make-up and mask-mak<strong>in</strong>g, which allows him to transform himself <strong>in</strong>to<br />

anyone, much to the delight of the public but also of himself, as evidenced<br />

by the many photos he took of his disguises.<br />

Johan De Meester Jr. leaves the ‘Vlaamsch Volkstooneel’ for Amsterdam<br />

around 1928-29. The theater group ends up <strong>in</strong> a difficult period, not least<br />

because of the f<strong>in</strong>ancial crisis, which is gradually underm<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g the f<strong>in</strong>anc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of cultural life. In 1930, a number of actors leaves the group permanently for<br />

f<strong>in</strong>ancial reasons and <strong>Stultjes</strong> may have left a little earlier, after all, <strong>in</strong> a<br />

newspaper article follow<strong>in</strong>g his death, his arrival <strong>in</strong> <strong>South</strong> Africa is situated <strong>in</strong><br />

November 1929.<br />

17<br />

See Dr. C. Godela<strong>in</strong>e, Het Vlaamsche Volkstooneel, Antwerpen, Davidsfonds, 1939, p. 72<br />

(footnote)<br />

18<br />

See Godela<strong>in</strong>e 1939, p. 83<br />

19<br />

Leo Persyn, newspaper article: De Triomf van ‘Lucifer’ te Parijs (1927) behaald door het<br />

Vlaamsche Volkstooneel, <strong>in</strong> De Standaard, 17/08/1977


<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> 'a born Afrikaner with a European academic<br />

foundation', 1929-<strong>1934</strong>.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> <strong>in</strong> Zuid-Afrika, <strong>1934</strong>.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> leaves for Pretoria at the beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g of November 1929 at the latest. De<br />

Meester's departure to the Netherlands and the drama group's f<strong>in</strong>ancial<br />

problems may have been a factor, as was the difficult relationship with his<br />

wife and mother-<strong>in</strong>-law. And apparently <strong>Stultjes</strong>' arrival <strong>in</strong> Cape Town is


news. A journalist friend publishes an <strong>in</strong>terview, he apparently knows <strong>Jan</strong><br />

from the past, and the article is picked up by De Standaard 20 . In the article<br />

by Die Burger, the journalist discusses <strong>Stultjes</strong>' tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter and<br />

stage actor and the success that <strong>Stultjes</strong> enjoyed <strong>in</strong> Europe. Curiously<br />

enough, <strong>Stultjes</strong> seems to be talk<strong>in</strong>g more about pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g than about act<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

He shows the journalist <strong>in</strong> question draw<strong>in</strong>gs and when asked what exactly<br />

he is go<strong>in</strong>g to pa<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong> <strong>South</strong> Africa, <strong>Stultjes</strong> answers:<br />

“First look at the landscape and the people to refresh my memory of <strong>South</strong><br />

Africa. And then work, work a lot”<br />

Unfortunately we have not come across any pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>gs, graphics or draw<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

from his <strong>South</strong> <strong>African</strong> period. <strong>South</strong> <strong>African</strong>. It is therefore not clear if <strong>Jan</strong><br />

really has been work<strong>in</strong>g a lot as a pa<strong>in</strong>ter <strong>in</strong> his native country. We are also<br />

not aware of any exhibitions of his work held there.<br />

Around 1930 we hear from <strong>Stultjes</strong> aga<strong>in</strong>, who has meanwhile Frenchified his<br />

first name to Jean. He founds 'Die <strong>Plaat</strong>-<strong>Stultjes</strong> Geselskap' and tries to<br />

<strong>in</strong>troduce modern theatre <strong>in</strong> <strong>South</strong> Africa. The theatre company tours <strong>South</strong><br />

Africa and gradually acquires a good reputation with critics, colleagues and<br />

the public. Fellow actor André Hugenet – the Laurence Olivier of <strong>South</strong> Africa<br />

– praises <strong>Stultjes</strong>' talent as a director and especially as a grime <strong>artist</strong> and<br />

set designer 21 .<br />

The <strong>Stultjes</strong> company plays local and European pieces. A number of titles:<br />

'the Letter from the Bl<strong>in</strong>d Mother', 'Toorheksie van Geluk', 'Die Kaartjieknipper ',<br />

20<br />

<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> schildert <strong>in</strong> Pretoria <strong>in</strong> De Standaard, 27 december 1929, based on an<br />

article <strong>in</strong> Die Burger, Capetown, 9/11/1929.<br />

21<br />

<strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> overleden <strong>in</strong> De Standaard, 2 April 1935.


'Arm Mans Rykdom', 'East Lynne', 'Wania', 'Die Teken van die Kruis', 'In die kloue<br />

of Satan' and 'Motherless' 22 .<br />

Jean <strong>Stultjes</strong> even plays a lead<strong>in</strong>g role <strong>in</strong> the film 'Moedertjie' <strong>in</strong> 1931, where<br />

he plays alongside Elsa Fouché, an actress who later becomes famous,<br />

mentioned by Hugenet <strong>in</strong> the 1935 article as <strong>Stultjes</strong>' second-<strong>in</strong>-command<br />

and support and engaged to be married to him.<br />

Unfortunately Jean/<strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> dies unexpectedly, as a result of pneumonia,<br />

while the company is on tour <strong>in</strong> Vanrhynsdorp on September 22, <strong>1934</strong>. He is<br />

buried <strong>in</strong> Pretoria on September 26. On his tombstone is the epitaph 'Ek miss<br />

jou baie mijn "Stijl"'. <strong>Stultjes</strong> is just under 36 years old.<br />

22<br />

Internet, https://esat.sun.ac.za/<strong>in</strong>dex.php/Jean_<strong>Plaat</strong>-<strong>Stultjes</strong>, consulted 7/11/2022.


Catalogue


1. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The couple<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.L..<br />

10 x 11 cm (day measure)


2. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The couple<br />

Hand coloured relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

10 x 11 cm (day measure)


3. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The couple<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

10 x 11 cm (day measure)


4. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The fortune teller<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.L. with mention of: ‘exemplaire unique’<br />

14 x 14,5 cm (day measure)


The clown<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

24 x 12 cm (day measure)<br />

5. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)


The clown<br />

Hand coloured relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on<br />

paper<br />

24 x 12 cm (day measure)<br />

6. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)


7. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The terrace<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

Justified 4/7<br />

14,5 x 12 cm (day measure)


8. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The terrace<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

Justified 2/7<br />

14 x 12 cm (day measure)


9. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The writer<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R..<br />

Justified 1/7<br />

15 x 15 cm (day measure)


10. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The writer<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

Justified 6/7<br />

22 x 20 cm (day measure)


11. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The monks<br />

Hand coloured relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

7 x 7 cm (day measure)


12. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Two figures<br />

Hand coloured relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

10 x 11,5 cm (day measure)


13 <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Recl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g nude<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

18,5 x 29 cm (day measure)


14. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Sleep<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

22 x 28 cm (dagmaat)


15. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Three faces<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

12;5 x 19,5 cm (day measure)


16. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Profile (self portrait)<br />

Relief pr<strong>in</strong>t on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

24,4 x 19,5 cm (day measure)


17. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Self portrait<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

45,5 x 39 cm (day measure)


18. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The conversation<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed with the monogram <strong>in</strong> the left shoe<br />

29,5 x 23,5 cm (day measure)


19. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Love<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

17 x 15 cm (day measure)


20. Verso<br />

20. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong><br />

Portrait study<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

21,5 x 15,5 cm (day measure)


(Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

20. Recto<br />

Red rob<strong>in</strong><br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

21,5 x 15,5 cm (day measure)


21. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The bench<br />

Watercolour and charcoal on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

12,5 x 10 cm (day measure)


22. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Reverie<br />

Pastel on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

22,50 x 20 cm (day measure)


23. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Self portrait<br />

Watercolour on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

19,4 x 18,5 cm (day measure)


24. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The bowler hat<br />

Charcoal on paper<br />

Signed B.R. with monogram<br />

Dated 5/15 with mention ‘<strong>Gent</strong>’<br />

30 x 23,5 cm (day measure)


25. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The pots<br />

Ink on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

16,5 x 19,5 cm (day measure)


26. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The boy with the felt hat<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.R. with stylised monogram<br />

26 x 19 cm (day measure)


27. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The table, even<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.L. with monogram<br />

Dated ‘juli 1923’ (July 1923)<br />

17 x 17 cm (day measure)


28. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

At the table<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

22 x 16 cm (day measure)


29. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The refuge<br />

Watercolour and pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

Dated September 1923<br />

21 x 25 cm (day measure)


30. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The old garden<br />

Watercolour and pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

24,5 x 21 cm (day measure)


31. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The haystack<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.L.<br />

20 x 24,5 cm (day measure)


32. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The closed railway<br />

Watercolour and pencil on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

21,5 x 24,5 cm (day measure)


33. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Riverboat<br />

Pastel on paper<br />

21,5 x 31,5 cm (day measure)


34. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The chair<br />

Watercolour and pencil on paper<br />

14,5 x 11 cm (day measure)


35. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Cactus<br />

Pastel on paper<br />

22,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


36. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Tranquillity (man read<strong>in</strong>g)<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

26,5 x 23 cm (day measure)


37. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Tranquillity (woman read<strong>in</strong>g)<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

26,5 x 24 cm (day measure)


38. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Profile (nude)<br />

Pastel on paper<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

32,5,5 x 28,5 cm (day measure)


39. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Reverie (sitt<strong>in</strong>g girl)<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

34 x 25 cm (day measure)


40. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The crochet<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

22 x 18,5 cm (day measure)


41. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Reverie (lady <strong>in</strong> seat)<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

25,5 x 20,5 cm (day measure)


42. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Profile study<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

20,5 x 20,5 cm (day measure)


43. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Profile study<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

26 x 19 cm (day measure)


44. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Lady <strong>in</strong> the draw<strong>in</strong>g room<br />

Oil on canvas on cardboard<br />

Signed and dated ‘sept. 1923’ T.L.<br />

Dated Aug. Sept. 1923 B.L.<br />

71,5 x 57,5 cm


45. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria<br />

<strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Anemones<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

36 x 44,5 cm


46. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

The harbour<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

46,5 x 72,5 cm


47. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Golgotha, 1921<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

Signed B.R.<br />

Dated ‘1921’ on the stretcher<br />

39,5 x 49,5 cm<br />

The pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g belongs to a private collection.<br />

It takes pride of place <strong>in</strong> the photograph below, which <strong>Jan</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> took <strong>in</strong> his studio.


48. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design, possibly for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

36,5 x 26,5 cm (day measure)


49. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

Signed, dated 1924<br />

30,5 x 27 cm (day measure)


50. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

Signed, dated 1924<br />

34,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


51. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

Signed, dated 1924<br />

34,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


52. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design, possibly for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

35 x 26 cm (day measure)


53. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

Signed, dated 1924<br />

34,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


54. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

Signed, dated 1924<br />

34,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


55. <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> (Pretoria <strong>1898</strong> - Vanrhynsdorp <strong>1934</strong>)<br />

Costume design, possibly for ‘Elcerlyc’ (a 15 th century theatre play)<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

34,5 x 22,5 cm (day measure)


A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s<br />

The authors would like to thank Mrs Katia Ballegeer, librarian archivist of the Kunstenarchief<br />

Hogeschool <strong>Gent</strong> School of Arts KASK & Conservatorium, Ms Bea Baillieu and the <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong><br />

<strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> family, without whose cooperation this project could never have been<br />

completed. Our special thanks go out to Mr. Patrick <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong> for open<strong>in</strong>g up his<br />

archive and for draw<strong>in</strong>g our attention to numerous new facts and <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g tidbits. His<br />

enthusiasm has proved to be contagious


P l e a s e n o t e :<br />

The supplementary documentary photographs or documents are not for sale, unless<br />

otherwise stated.<br />

Dimensions are noted as: height x width x depth and <strong>in</strong> centimetres.<br />

Please contact us for prices.<br />

We can provide you with additional <strong>in</strong>formation through photographs or video chat.<br />

We can provide you with specific shipp<strong>in</strong>g quotes. Works can also be collected at the<br />

gallery or delivered by us at your doorstep.<br />

Upon request, we can provide a prelim<strong>in</strong>ary condition report, but please bear <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d that<br />

we are not professional restorers and that we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy<br />

of our assessment of the condition of a work. If needed, a professional restorer can be<br />

asked to make a condition report, however this will not be free of charge<br />

C o l o p h o n<br />

This onl<strong>in</strong>e catalogue was made to accompany the exhibition <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> 2022. . All works are for sale.<br />

Text and research: Raf Steel and Emmy Steel<br />

Edit<strong>in</strong>g and photography:: Raf Steel and Emmy Steel<br />

Copyright: Galerie St-John, the authors and the <strong>artist</strong>s.<br />

Copyright for photograph of the pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g by <strong>Jan</strong> W. <strong>Gr<strong>in</strong>wis</strong> <strong>Plaat</strong> <strong>Stultjes</strong>, Nude, 1925 (Pipyn<br />

prize): Kunstenarchief Hogeschool <strong>Gent</strong> School of Arts KASK & Conservatorium<br />

No part of this publication may be reproduced and / or published by means of pr<strong>in</strong>t,<br />

photocopy, electronic medium or any other method (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g translation) without the<br />

prior written permission of the authors.<br />

The publisher has done its utmost to request permission to all possible right holders<br />

regard<strong>in</strong>g the use of (visual) material for this onl<strong>in</strong>e publication. If we have overlooked<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g, please contact us. Any errors will be corrected <strong>in</strong> a subsequent issue.


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