Product Focus: The Yellow Riders Pocket Square

This week in our product focus series, we delve deeper into our beautiful The Yellow Riders Silk Pocket Square, painted by Dutch Impressionist George Hendrik Breitner. 

Did You Know? In 1880 and part of his early studies, Breitner was expelled from the Art Academy of The Hague for misconduct.

EXPLORE FURTHER: THE YELLOW RIDERS POCKET SQUARE

yellow silk pocket square 

STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING

The Yellow Riders painting refers to the colour of the soldiers’ uniform, and proves that Breitner was strongly influenced by contemporary French painting. He shared their preference for working ‘en plein air’, to obtain a more lively effect in his work. To achieve this goal, he also used photographs and sketches. 

Within the painting, The Yellow Riders, an elite unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, are depicted galloping down the Dutch dunes kicking up dust with their speed. By choosing to focus on the black and red tones in the riders' busbies, and then throughout the composition, Brietner reinforces the dynamism of the movement.

All that can be seen in the dust cloud are accents of the black, red and yellow tones. This is one of several iterations of the same subject that Brietner completed in his lifetime. In the present day, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam owns a drawing by Breitner that depicts nearly the same formation of horses as we can see in this painting.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

George Hendrik Breitner was a Dutch painter and photographer. An important figure in Amsterdam Impressionism, he is noted especially for his paintings of street scenes and harbours in a realistic style. He painted en plein air, and became interested in photography as a means of documenting street life and atmospheric effects, such as rainy weather, as reference materials for his paintings.

George Hendrik Breitner - photo 05.jpgArtist Photograph (Source: Wikipedia)

George Hendrik Breitner was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1876 to 1880 he attended the Art Academy in The Hague where his extraordinary talent was rewarded on various occasions. In 1882 he met and worked together with Vincent van Gogh, with whom he often went sketching in the poorer areas of The Hague. Due to his personal interests, Breitner preferred working-class models: labourers, servant girls and people from the lower class districts. 

This preference of the lower class saw him claimed as 'the people's painter'. He was the painter of city views par excellence: wooden foundation piles by the harbour, demolition work and construction sites in the old centre, horse trams on the Dam, or canals in the rain. With his nervous brush strokes, he captured the dynamic street life. By 1890, cameras were now affordable, and Breitner became very interested in capturing movement and illumination in the city, becoming a master in doing this.

A freehand sketch of a group of figuresEarly sketches of the people of Amsterdam (Source: Wikipedia)

Breitner also painted female nudes, but just like Rembrandt he was criticized because his nudes were painted too realistically and did not resemble the common ideal of beauty. In his own time Breitner's paintings were admired by artists and art lovers, but often despised by the Dutch art critics for their raw and realistic nature. 

By the turn of the century Breitner was a famous painter in the Netherlands, as demonstrated by a highly successful retrospective exhibition at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam. Breitner travelled frequently in the last decades of his life, visiting Paris, London, and Berlin, among other cities, and continued to take photographs until he died in 1923 in Amsterdam.

WHAT FOLDS WORK BEST WITH THIS POCKET SQUARE?

The Yellow Riders Silk Pocket Square works brilliantly across a number of intricate folds due to the navy and yellow border pattern and neutral brown and cream background colours. The versatility of this pocket square will enable you to be creative and playful with your pocket square fold type. We discuss our two favourite fold styles in more detail below.

Read Further: Types of Pocket Square Folds

Puff Fold
The Puff Fold is not only one of the most popular folds but also one of the simplest to master. The most classic style is to adjust it till it forms a semi-circle above your pocket, but the very nature of the Puff Fold means you can be creative with the final look. 

We feel it works best for a more casual look, and can be easily adjusted to display the different colours in your pocket square. In this instance the brown and cream tones from The Yellow Riders is used to complement the wool check tie.

pocket square puff fold


The Angled Peaks Fold
The Angled Peaks Fold is quite a classic fold that adds interest to your jacket and does look quite intricate to the observer. This fold always looks best when you use a square that has some colour contrast with the border, such as The Yellow Riders.

To customise once folded, simply adjust the peaks so they have a uniform spacing and angle slightly backwards from the first peak. The sophisticated and uniformed nature of this fold lends itself well to more formal events such as a wedding or other special occasion. 

Below in our YouTube Video Series, Alex explores how to create the perfect pocket square Angled Peaks Fold.

WORKS WELL WITH



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What Makes Our Pocket Squares So Special?

1. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk pocket squares and linings. The quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and the level of detail and vibrancy of the finished product. All our silks are printed in Macclesfield, England, an area renowned for silk printing for the past 200 years.
2. We take the utmost care in printing our silk pocket squares and linings which results in truly remarkable levels of detail. Faces, objects and colours are sharp and well defined to give a truly stunning finish. We also take exceptional care with the colour bleed, so the print is almost as crisp on the back as it is on the front, allowing for an unlimited number of folds to a pocket square.
3. The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each square its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
4. We believe that 40cm is the minimum size for a high quality pocket square. Any smaller and it will slide down inside your pocket with any movement of your jacket, while it limits the number of folds you can achieve as there is not enough volume to hold it in place. It goes without saying we would never advocate any form of pocket square holder. All our pocket squares are either 42cm x 42cm or 40cm x 40cm.