Art movements represented at the Ambassade Hotel
The selection of works of art on display at the Ambassade Hotel reflects the owner Wouter Schopman’s passion as an art collector of two art movements in particular: the twentieth-century Cobra expressionist movement and the Amsterdam Impressionists of the nineteenth century.
Hundreds of works of art by the international Cobra (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam) Group are on display throughout the hotel, including the corridors, breakfast room, and several hotel rooms. The bulk of the collection was produced by Theo Wolvecamp: the silent force behind the Cobra movement.
The hotel has collected almost 500 works by the artist and the collection is still growing. This is highly exceptional, as Wolvecamp regarded all his work with an extremely critical eye and destroyed much of it.
Generally speaking, the artists who established Cobra shortly after World War II and the artists affiliated with the movement wanted to cast off the yoke of the Western Art Tradition. They intended to do so by starting from the very beginning, taking their inspiration from sources such as the ‘works of art’ produced by children, psychiatric patients and the ‘primitives’. The movement understood the ‘Primitives’ to include art from Africa and the rest of the world, as well as Scandinavian folkloric art. With their experimental approach and ‘primitive’ art the artists of the Cobra movement wished to bring a new art form to Europe and the rest of the world.
The painters of the Eighties Generation & the Impressionists
Another group of artists whose works are also favoured by collector Schopman are the painters of the Eighties Generation, including the impressionists, with a focus on the Amsterdam Impressionists and their followers.
Painters such as George Hendrik Breitner, Isaac Israels and Willem Witsen made an intensive study of life on the streets of Amsterdam around 1900 and recorded their impressions on paper and canvas. A number of these impressions are on display at the hotel.
With this collection, which includes typical works by Willem Witsen, the Ambassade Hotel brings the atmosphere of the nineteenth-century Amsterdam canals to life: foggy, mysterious and subdued.
In addition to these two key movements the Ambassade Hotel’s collection also includes work by three artists who, at a given time, became affiliated with the ‘Vrij Beelden’ (Free Expression) movement. Founded practically alongside Cobra, this group also wanted to experiment, but in contrast to the majority of work produced by the Cobra artists, its approach was entirely abstract. The artists of ‘Vrij Beelden’ sought Freedom of expression in their use of colour.
The collection also includes works by several individualists and contemporary artists, whose works do not easily allow for categorisation in a particular movement.