Pieter Florentius Nicolaas Jacobus Arntzenius (9 June 1864 – 16 February 1925) was a Dutch painter, watercolorist, illustrator and printmaker. He is considered a representative of the younger generation of the Hague School. In 1882 he became a student of Frederik Nachtweh, under Nachtweh's supervision he gained admission to the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten. Amongst his fellow students were Isaac Israëls, George Breitner, Willem Witsen and Jan Veth. After his studies in Amsterdam he spent another two years at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, studying under Charles Verlat. Arntzenius was an accomplished artist. During his first years in The Hague, he painted landscapes in the typical Hague School style. He later switched to mainly painting cityscapes and street scenes, just like Israëls and Breitner made in Amsterdam. But Arntzenius painted the occasional portrait as well as this painting is living proof.
This extraordinary portrait presumably depicts the artist Buziau. Johannes Franciscus Buziau (1877-1958) started his career at the circus at an early age as an ice cream vendor, but soon switched to Circus Renz to perform in a water ballet and other acts. From 1928 until 1942 he performed for Bouwmeester’s Revue. He became the most popular comedian in the Netherlands thanks to his white painted face, his impeccable timing and spot on remarks. In this painting he is in the process of applying white powder to his face, preparing himself for his performance.
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