's-Hertogenbosch 1876 - 1953 Meerhout, Belgium.
Frans was, above all, a painter of landscapes. His paintings bespeak the influence of the Barbizon School. He found his subjects in the Netherlands, notably in the Brabant Campine and in Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. The gothic Saint-John's Cathedral in 's-Hertogenbosch was a source of inspiration for him and was often a characteristic element in his landscapes.
Frans lived on the "Grote Hoeve" in Meerhout in the Belgian Campine. In beautiful surroundings which he very much liked to paint. His love for nature found him also involved in the establishment of the "Brabant Landscape Foundation".
“Artists were at the forefront of nature conservation in many countries at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Well-known examples are the painting schools of Barbizon in France, Sint-Maertens-Laetem, Zoniën and Kalmthout in Belgium and individually itinerant painters in the western United States (Yellowstone). (..) When Brabants Landschap was founded on January 22, 1932, Frans Slager asked to take a seat on the board on behalf of the world of art.”
The portrait of Frans Slager, painted by his wife Marie Slager – van Gilse, decorates the posters and flyers of the exhibition “Step into the world of the family Slager”. In the museum it is striking that many visitors are particularly enthusiastic about Frans' works, his landscapes and his city scenes. And now Ria Simons, responsible for the collection management of Museum Slager, in the archives a special edition of Brabant Landschap from the autumn of 2004. This edition, number 144, was published on the occasion of the exhibition of Frans Slagers works, which were on display in the museum that same year. The edition is written by Thijs Caspers and wholly devoted toFrans Slager: Lover of Beauty”.
After the introduction recorded above, Thijs Caspers describes how Frans Slager got to know nature and the arts on the basis of his father PM. He tells about the paintings of the St. Jan, the Iron Man, the Bossche Broek, and about Frans' predilection for winter and spring. Thijs describes the many journeys of Frans Slager and how he later painted closer to home, the Iron Man in Vught and landscape on the Nethe near his home in Meerhout, Belgium. In the meantime, Thijs Caspers also lets us enjoy many examples of Frans' beautiful writing skills. And he ends with: “As a true esthetician, Frans suffered greatly from the destruction of beauty. In his opinion, too little was listened to the voice of the artists and too much to that of the 'businessmen' or what must pass for that. It's still the same song unfortunately."
The edition number 144 of Brabants Landschap is here to read. Read more about Frans Slager? A brochure about Frans Slager (1876-1953) for sale (at €1,-). And of course Nel van de Heijden writes extensively about his works and life in the big book “Slager. Eight Bossche artists and a museum.”