Herman de Vries, (1931), belladonna, 1999.


Pressed and collaged plant and colored pencil on wove paper, 140 x 100 cm. Very good condition.

Provenance: Private collection Southern Germany, acquired from the artist.



Condition: Very good condition. The pressed plant browned due to age

Framed in natural colored wooden strip.

Catalogue raisonné: Online catalogue, 1999, collages. (https://www.hermandevries.org/digital-catalogue/catalogue-1999.php)

Illustration in: Mel Gooding, herman de vries. chance and change, Thames and Hudson, London 2006, page 13.

In addition to the earth rubbings, pressed plants are an important working material of the artist. In the present work, Herman de Vries used a branch of the black belladonna (Atropa belladonna), whose psychoactive effect also refers to his intensive study of mind-moving plants. Around the plant, its common names are recorded in various languages indicating their effect.


Herman de Vries was born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, in 1931. After training at the Reichsgartenbauschule in Hoorn, he first worked as a landscape gardener before beginning to work as an artist in 1953. His early works – white pictures, collages and objects – are related to the artist groups NUL and ZERO. In 1962 de Vries began to develop the method of “random-objectivation”, with which he investigates reality in his works. In the 1970s, de Vries increasingly turned to nature, working, for example, with natural materials such as pressed plants or soil. In 1997 he created a so-called sanctuarium for the Skulptur.Projekte Münster, a piece of nature protected from human access. Since 1970, Herman de Vries lives in Eschenau in Lower Franconia since 1970.

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