Lordly and larger than life, this rooster dominates the picture, while the hen behind him has only a minor role to play. His bright colors and ostentatious display of masculinity make him stand out even more in the dismal surroundings. ‘De haan’ (1931) marks the beginning of a new phase in Kruyder’s work in which the atmosphere gradually becomes more gloomy and threatening. The colors darken, while the brushstrokes and the use of a palette knife determine the surface of the painting. Most of the branches of the few trees in the background are pollarded and the leaves are few and far between. On the right is a tumbledown wall, with rubble in the form of loose bricks stretching across the picture to the bottom left-hand corner. The deep blue creates a stifling impression, rather than a bright, shining sky. In this place, life is doomed to wither and die. In spite of his self-assurance and the presence of a female, this rooster has no offspring. Desolation is also apparent in the subject matter of Kruyder’s work.
schenking / Gift of P.A. Regnault, Laren (NH)