1st Edition

Dutch Neorealism, Cinema, and the Politics of Painting, 1927–1945

By Stephanie Lebas Huber Copyright 2025
    276 Pages 20 Color & 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This study offers a radically new perspective on Dutch Neorealist work, one that emphasizes the role of film as an apparatus, the effects of which, when emulated in painting, can reproduce the affective experience of film-watching.

    More of a tendency than a tightly defined style or ism, Neorealism is the Dutch variant of Magic Realism, an uncanny mode of figurative painting identified with Neue Sachlichkeit in Germany and Novecento in Italy. Best represented by the Dutch artists Pyke Koch, Carel Willink, Charley Toorop, Raoul Hynckes, Dick Ket, and Wim Schuhmacher, Neorealism—as demonstrated in this book—depicted societal disintegration and allegories of looming disaster in reaction to the rise of totalitarian regimes and, eventually, the Nazi Occupation of The Netherlands. The degree to which these artists exhibited either revolutionary or reactionary sentiments—usually corresponding with their political affiliation—is one of the central problematics explored in this text.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, World War II history, and film studies.

    Introduction  1. Magic Realism in The Netherlands: Neorealism in Context  2. Open/Closed: Dutchness and Traditional Genres in Crisis  3. A Paragone Between Film and Painting – or – film as a new visual model   4. The Self-Portrait and the Politics of Ambiguity    5. Neorealism Under the Occupation 6. Representing “Westland” and the Greater Germanic Imagination Conclusion 


    Stephanie Lebas Huber is an independent scholar based in New York.