Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Legacy of Artistic Expression

Henri was a man of many talents, one of them art. Artistic expression was important for the de Buren family at Vaumarcus and can be traced back to Henri’s Dutch Great-Grandmother, Cornelia Jacobea van Assendelft.

Charles de Buren, Baron de Vaurmarcus & Cornelia Jacobea van Assendelft by Guillaume Jean Joseph de Spinny

Henri’s Great-Grandfather, Charles de Buren (1731-1787) served for many years in a Swiss regiment in Holland. When Charles finished his service he returned to Vaumarcus with his wife, Cornelia Jacobea van Assendelft (1733-1799), daughter of Jakob van Assendelft, Mayor of the Hague and Adrienne Christine de Hoey. When she arrived at Vaumarcus, being a lady of leisure, she was appalled by the medieval structure and asked her husband to build something contemporary. In 1772 Charles had built the newest part of the castle known as the “Palais”. An important request from his wife in regards to the new structure was to have an art studio on the top floor with great natural light in which she could paint. While no known examples of her painting still exist, she passed her love of art to her eldest son.

Charles Philippe de Buren (1759-1795) also served in Holland like his father and was a prolific amateur artist who focused primarily on nature scenes.

Nature Scene, Oil on canvas, 1783

Copper plate etching, 1791

Copper plate etching, 1783

Charles Philippe died of gout at an the early age of 36, but passed his appreciation for art to his son Albert de Buren.

Albert de Buren (1791-1873) like his father Charles Philippe was a prolific amateur artistic and painted mostly watercolors of his travels throughout Switzerland and other parts of Europe.

Château de Gorger, 1832

Château de Rolle, 1832

Romainmôtier, 1837

Henri’s watercolor style from his trip through the Americas is very similar to that of his father Albert and in the days before travel photography was surely a great way to bring back a visual souvenir of a journey.

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