exploring the orient with Louis Couperus and Marius Bauer

exploring the orient with Louis Couperus and Marius Bauer

21 May - 8 October 2017

The author Louis Couperus and the artist Marius Bauer admired each other's work but they never met, even though they both lived in The Hague. To the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Bauer's date of birth, the Louis Couperus Museum has organised a fascinating get together. 


Marius Bauer (1867-1932) was a typical Orientalist. He travelled far and wide in India, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, North Africa and Palestine, sketchbook in hand. Back home, he worked out his sketches and drawings into oil paintings, prints and water colours for which he became very well known.  Three times he visited Algeria, the last time in the early 1920's.

In 1921, Louis Couperus also travelled to Algeria, as a travel writer for the Dutch magazine Haagsche Post. He stayed six months and described his experiences and impressions in the French colony in a series of 21 travelling stories, which appeared in the said magazine and later in a book, called With Louis Couperus in Africa (1921).  

Both Bauer and Couperus saw the Orient as one fascinating, 1001 Nights fairy tale dream. Very often they took the same subjects for their art. The exhibition combines Bauer's paintings and drawings with texts from Couperus' travelogue. It was put together by Couperus connoisseur José Buschman and independant curator Willemien de Vlieger-Moll.

To the occasion of this exhibition the book Couperus in de Oriënt appeared, by José Buschman (publishers: Uitgeverij Bas Lubberhuizen,€ 19.99). It is a re-issue of her book A Dandy in the Orient (2009), with illustrations after the work of Marius Bauer and various additions to the text. The question is: did the harsh reality live up to Couperus' expectations of the Orient..?

The exhibition and the accompanying book were made possible by financial contributions from Fonds 1818, Foundation Gifted Art, Foundation Harten Fonds and M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.




Poster for said exhibition

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