Chris Lebeau (1878 - 1945 is considered one of the most original and versatile artisans of the Nieuwe Kunst (see also lots 200, 201, 243 & 244). His first batik works date from right after his graduation at the school of applied arts in 1899, when architect T. K. L. Sluyterman asked Lebeau to assist him with the decoration of the Dutch pavillion at the 1900 Paris World Fair. Lebeau designed several decorative panels, some of which were executed in batik. After this experience, Lebeau immersed himself in the batik process, working with several more experienced artists in this field to refine his technique. Within a few years, Lebeau's batik work was exhibited and awarded at numerous national and international exhibitions, including Turin and Düsseldorf in 1902 and Copenhagen and St. Louis (USA) in 1904.
The designs here offered are believed to be studies for a three-fold screen commissioned by the burgomaster of Watergraafsmeer, a town just outside Amsterdam. The three batiked parchment panels of this screen were decorated with a pattern of stylised flamingo's on recto and geometrical motifs on verso, very similar to the designs here offered. The finished panels, mounted in mahogany frames designed by Jac. van den Bosch, were eventually declined by the burgomaster. The screen, which was almost destroyed by the outraged Lebeau, was purchased in 1905 by a committee especially founded for this purpose and gifted to the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. The designs here offered are mounted in modern oak frames inspired by the original frames by Van den Bosch
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