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Hans Laagland is a Contemporary Flemish master inspired by Rubens and Rembrandt. Indeed, Laagland was born in Flanders and as a boy studied Rubens masterpieces in nearby Antwerp. When he realized at age 18 that the Academy of Art could teach him precious little given his mastery of Ruben’s techniques, he decided to forego formal education and launch his own career as a master in the tradition of Rubens.

Since then, he has prolifically produced a tour de force of portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and nudes – not to mention the obligatory Rubens copies – with perfect execution and often with materials he has manufactured himself (e.g., reproducing Rembrant’s Old-Dutch lead white and Rubes’ vermilion).
Now at 47 years of age, Laagland is gaining traction internationally and entering into the shortlists of leading collectors worldwide. The American financier Elliott Broidy, who maintains an extensive collection with his wife Robin Broidy in Los Angeles, has assembled significant Laagland holdings in the form of masterful Flemish still lifes such as Pink Roses, Spring’s Bounty, Spring Flowers, Summer Still Life, and Autumn Still Life.

Pink Roses, oil on panel, is the most modest of these. A simple vase plays host to a small bouquet, half-bloomed and half-nascent. It is genius in its juxtaposition of remarkable detail and vividness, on the one hand, and timeless simplicity on the other. Like Laagland himself, this work could transcends time – it could be a depiction from the early 1600s just as easily as it could be a scene from 2008.

The Elliott Broidy collection features, at the other end of the spectrum, the ornateness of Autumn Still Life, in which the exquisitely detailed pears, grapes, cantaloupe slices, and blackberries seem almost secondary to the surrounding plateware, cutlery, and cabinetry, which seems almost alive.

The image below is courtesy of the Elliott Broidy collection:

Additional Resources:

Elliott Broidy :: Listed on Informationhubinc.com

Elliott Broidy :: Article on Newdataagency.com

Elliott Broidy :: Information on Professionalwhois.com

Elliott Broidy :: Listed on Biowebinc.com

Elliott Broidy :: Article on Execdictionary.com

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