• Artist page

    Marcelle Hanselaar

    Judith and Holofernes

    Judith and Holofernes

  • About Marcelle Hanselaar


    Marcelle Hanselaar was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and travelled extensively in Asia and Europe before finally settling down in her studio in central London. Although she studied briefly at The Royal Academy, The Hague,1962-'64, in oil painting she is entirely self-taught. In 1992/93 and again in 1995/96 Hanselaar was invited to teach painting at the S.W.Teaching University, Chongqing, China, she also taught drawing at Sotheby's Educational Institute, London from 1989-'99. Around that time Hanselaar became interested in etching and learned printmaking first at Morley College and later at Kensington & Chelsea College. Marcelle Hanselaar's early painting was abstract but from 1992 her work became completely figurative. Member of The London Group and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE).

    Northsea Bathers [1992]
    Oil on canvas, 120 x 150 cm
    Donated by the artist 1999

    Marcelle Hanselaar has explained that Northsea Bathers is one of a series of works about the sea of her childhood. It was painted "fast and furiously and without my usual preliminary sketches. The result shocked me. I had no idea where this image had come from. I had set out to paint a memory of my sea with its dual quality of nourisher and destructor but in some way my visualisation hooked up with the impersonal which can be pretty unsettling. Consequently, this sense of unease has become a constant and essential ingredient in the subject matter of my painting."

    Judith and Holofernes [1998]
    Oil on canvas, 38 x 46cm
    Donated by Margaret Whitford 2012

    Lot and his daughters 2 [2007]
    Etching/ aquatint, edition 2/30, 40 x 45cm
    Donated by the artist, 2008

    The legendary tales of the Old Testament are full of retributions, murder and sexual mayhem enacted in the shadow of the Law. The liberating quality of these stories manifests itself the moment we realise how they in actual fact mirror our subconcious world. Take the tale of Lot and his family for example.

    After his wife turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at what was being lost, the two daughters of Lot found themselves with their father out in the middle of nowhere. There, forced by circumstances of being the sole survivors of their tribe they seduced their father so that he would impregnate them.

    I like portraying these heroines as ordinary women whose conspirational a girl has to do what a girl has to do look, places the scene resolutely in the present. Props like stripey beach screens and Calvin Klein briefs, mixed with objects as found in grenre painting, give the image an eclectic source reference.