The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Matthijs Maris, 1839-1917

Nationality: Dutch
Date of Birth: 1839.08.17
Place of Birth: The Hague
Date of Death: 1917.08.22
Place of Death: London


Matthijs Maris was a landscape, portrait and figure painter, watercolourist and etcher. He was the brother of the painters Jacob Hendricus Paul and Willem Maris.


Maris was apprenticed to Isaac Elink Sterk before studying at the Academie in The Hague, the studio of Louis Meijer and at the Academie in Antwerp. In the early 1860s he painted mainly townscapes, portraits and figure paintings, influenced by the work of German Romantic painters such as Ludwig Richter, e.g. Christening Procession at Lausanne (watercolour; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague), which gained him honorary membership of the Société Belge des Aquarellistes in Brussels.

In 1869 Maris moved to Paris to be with his brother Jacob. Work from this period includes Butterflies (1874; Burrell Collection, Glasgow). Through the art dealer Goupil, he came in contact with the Scottish dealer Daniel Cottier. In 1877 he decided to move to London permanently, living with Cottier until 1887. In 1889 Maris was among those included in the preliminary preparations for a meal to be held at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May in celebration of JW's honorary membership of the Royal Academy in Munich (#05639).

Maris exhibited in London at the Fine Art Society, Goupil Gallery and International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, a society that formed in 1898 with JW as its President. He also exhibited in Britain at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Scottish Academy and Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.


Holmes, C. J., 'The Landscapes of Matthew Maris', Burlington Magazine, vol. 10, 1906-7, pp. 348-54; Thomson, David Croal, 'Matthew Maris', Studio, vol. 72, 1917, pp. 46-51; Buschmann, P., 'Matthew Maris', Burlington Magazine, vol. 32, 1918, pp. 4-9; Thomson, David Croal, Matthew Maris: An Illustrated Souvenir, London, 1918; Friedlander, E. D., Matthew Maris, London, 1921; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Kuyvenhoven, Fransje, and Geert Jan Koot, 'Matthijs Maris', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 03 December 2003).