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Art Diary

Christoffel & Kate Bisschop: Longing for the Past

9 June 2023

While the 19th-century Dutch painter Christoffel Bisschop and his English wife Kate Bisschop-Swift were both successful artists during their lifetime, they have since fallen into obscurity. This exhibition at the Fries Museum in Amsterdam (17 June–7 January 2024) hopes to restore their reputation, centred on the museum’s recent acquisition of Winter in Friesland (c. 1876) by Christoffel. The couple spent much of their married life in the artistic hub of Hindeloopen in the northern Netherlands where they both captured scenes of city life; Winter in Friesland depicts a young couple waiting for their skates to be sharpened before taking to the ice. After the Bisschops moved to the Hague in 1869, Kate made her name as a painter of the Dutch gentry and became the first woman to join the Pulchri Studio artists’ society. Among the highlights on show here are her paintings of domestic scenes, such as Baby’s breakfast (1890) and her Portrait of Sophie of Württemberg, Queen of the Netherlands (1902). Find out more on the Fries Museum’s website.

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Baby’s breakfast (1890), Kate Bisschop-Swift. Fries Museum, Amsterdam

All Alone at Home (1860–75), Christoffel Bisschop. Fries Museum, Amsterdam

The Kiss (c. 1860–65), Christoffel Bisschop. Teylers Museum, Haarlem

The Wedding Day (c. 1876), Christoffel Biscchop. Fries Museum, Amsterdam

The Wedding Day (c. 1876), Christoffel Biscchop. Fries Museum, Amsterdam