Coba Ritsema (1876-1961)

Coba Ritsema was one of the most talented painters in the group that was dubbed the Amsterdam ‘Joffers’. Most of these well-to-do ladies had trained at the Rijksacademie. In their day there was still no provision for a mixed education for men and women. The women had separate lessons. They were: Coba Ritsema, Lizzy Ansingh, Marie van Regteren Altena, Nelly Bodenheim, Jo Stumpff, Jacoba Surie, Ans van den Berg and Betsy Osieck. Each had her own style and remained true to it. All of these ladies were very talented and won many prizes for their art. They carried on painting into old age. Owners of works of art by the Amsterdam Joffers are ‘on to a good thing’.

Coba Ritsema painted portraits and still lifes. The work being offered as a reproduction was the highlight of the 2003 annual Kunst aan de dijk te Kortenhoef exhibition. It has been made in the style of 17th-century still lifes: a carafe, bread, a peeled lemon and a sugar bowl with a spoon on which, if you look very closely, you can see the hallmarks. The main motif is the demi-tasse with the beautifully painted ‘ter uwer verjaring’ (for your birthday) on it. A reproduction of this painting would make a very special birthday present.