89. Dirk Filarski

Dirk Filarski
Het Knekelballet van Harry van Tussenbroek (Skeleton Ballet) (1940)
Signed and dated 1940 lower right
Oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm
Collection D.H.W. Filarski (the artist), thence by descent
Harry van Tussenbroek was more of a puppet maker than a puppeteer. He crafted his refined puppets from various materials, such as fabric scraps, feathers, glass, and animal skeleton parts. In 1937, he gained international fame when he won the Grand Prix with his marionettes at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (World expo) in Paris. After 1945, he organised several exhibitions featuring his puppets. In 1963, he passed away, with Televizier calling him “one of the most remarkable artists the Netherlands has ever had.” His puppets were so dear to him that he wished to be cremated with them. His family tried to prevent this in a lawsuit, but ultimately, the puppets were burned.

Van Tussenbroek was friends with various artists who portrayed his puppets in their works, including Jan Sluijters, Henri C. Maclean, Bets Bayens, Henri Berssenbrugge, Eva Besnyö, Lizzy Ansingh, and Dirk Filarski. In the present painting, created in 1940, Filarski depicted one of the most remarkable puppets from Van Tussenbroek’s Knekelballet (Skeleton Ballet), which was made with a bird’s skull. The same puppet is featured in two works that are part of the collections of the Rijksmuseum and the Dordrechts Museum.

Fourth photo: Knekel-ballet by Harry van Tussenbroek – © Eva Besnyö

€ 600 - 1.000
€ 500