Constant Ludovic Artz (1870-1951) was born in Paris, to David Adolph Constant Artz and Helene Artz-Schemel. His father was a well-known Dutch painter associated with the Hague School famed for his fashionable genre scenes and Japanese inspired subjects. At the time of Constant’s birth in 1970 the Artz family were living in Paris where fellow artist Gustave Courbet had suggested Artz set up his own studio.
In 1874, the family returned to The Hague where the young Constant Artz’ artistic talents were natured under the guidance of his father. At the age of twelve, Artz was enrolled at the Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague and encouraged to develop his considerable talent further. As well as receiving advice from his father and the Dutch marine painter Hendrik Mesdag, he was apprenticed in the studio of the Dutch Classical painter Anthony Offermans in 1899.
Like his father, Artz was fascinated by nature, even as a student his love for nature shone in his art. He painted many Dutch landscape scenes with windmills and narrow waterways but also tried his hand at cityscapes and still lifes. However, it was Artz’ idyllic scenes of ducks and waterfowl that captured the interest of his contemporaries and his collectors.
It is thought that the influence of Willem Maris, a Dutch landscape painter of the Hague School, inspired Artz to focus on landscapes with ducks and waterfowl on a river bank or lakes edge. These idyllic scenes were of great interest among the public in the nineteenth-century as an antidote to ever increasing urbanisation and industrial onslaught. With a smooth, impressionistic touch Artz painted waterfowl and their chicks in all their actions with a depth of careful detail.
Artz was a master in the processing of sun and light effects in his work and had a great sense of colour. His paintings, often quite small, stand out because of their friendly appearance and retain their popularity to this day. His work can be found in both collections of many Dutch museums and in private collections worldwide.