Five Paintings That Inspire... Chantal Van Houten

Five Paintings That Inspire... Chantal Van Houten

We asked Dutch artist, Chantal Van Houten, to discuss five paintings that have inspired her expressive style and approach. She's selected works by Jan Mankes, George Hendrik Breitner, Francis Bacon, and Marc Chagall.

Jan Mankes, Portrait Of Annie Mankes-Zernike

"I love the stillness and dreaminess of Jan Mankes' paintings and I'm a big fan of his work. This is one of my favourite portraits and I just love the choices that he made to paint his wife, Anne Mankes-Zernike. The colours, the positioning of her head, the skin - and it has an endless quietness. I hope to achieve that one day with my own paintings."

Jan Mankes, View From The Studio In Eerbeek

Jan Mankes

"This one inspires me due to its use of colours and the creation of the serenity. When I look at this painting I immediately come to ease and want to study it. It’s so inspiring how he used his colours and places his lines on the painting to create such a beautifully calming scene."

George Hendrik Breitner, Girl In White Kimono

George Hendrik Breitner

"This painting from George Hendrik Breitner is also a big inspiration for me. I love the positioning of the girl, it’s different, it’s a natural movement - so skilfully made. It makes you wonder what the context was and places you a familiar situation. Also, I love the colours that he uses, the combinations of them are very inspiring."

Francis Bacon, Study After Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Francis Bacon

"This one is so inspiring on many levels. His interpretation of things, creating structure in chaos, looking for the right composition. This one was an interpretation of Velázquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X, the image was hunting him (among other things) and this was the outcome of him dealing with it. As a painter, I always want to express and bring a message across. It’s very personal, I also see that in this painting."

Marc Chagall, Le Violiniste

Marc Chagall

"Last one but definitely not the least is a very inspiring painting by Marc Chagall. Le Violiniste was painted on a blocked tablecloth from his hometown, Vitebsk. That fact alone is inspiring. This painting is full of nostalgia, which I love. The nostalgia in this painting is mainly from his own experience in life and about his native-born country, Russia. I love the smooth captivating lines, the figures and objects telling the story - there is so much going on and I can watch this for hours. Chagall is a great master in telling stories, which I deeply admire. I always get inspired when I see this painting and it reminds me how beautiful it is to tell (personal) stories in paintings."

You can learn more about Chantal Van Houten at

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