“Faces of Oman” by Tonny Holsbergen

  “Tonny Holsbergen, born in 1952, is a well known Dutch painter and portrait artist who has held many successful exhibitions both internationally and in Oman.  She first visited Oman in 2001 overnighting in the desert.  When talking of those times she says “I became obsessed with Oman and its people, particularly with the Bedouin, their hospitality and way of life.  I listened to the sounds of the desert surrounding me, and I just wanted to start drawing immediately.  She describes these times as the best of her life.  About her return to the Netherlands she says “I couldn’t concentrate on anything that was not about Oman.  All of my other commissions suffered.  Painting portraits of businessmen, actors and poets just didn’t seem to flow.  I was too inspired by the Bedu women with their golden birkhas and the beautiful dresses that they wear with such grace.  Every scene moved me.  I wanted to capture an essence of their lifestyle.”  “The first time Tonny Holsbergen came to Oman she found herself in the desert of the Sharqiya accepting the hospitality of local bedouin.  Without a language in common the Dutch artist and the Omani bedouin communicated with each other by way of Tonny’s art.  She drew sketches of her hosts, to which they responded with immediate enthusiasm, insisting that she make more.  From this encounter, and from Tonny’s deeply felt empathy and passion for the people of Oman and the land in which they live, there has flowed a rich stream of paintings and drawings, a small selection of which are shown here.  This passion for people and for a way of life that is in danger of disappearing altogether, amid the pressures of modern life, is evident in every stroke of her brush.  Of course it is the work of the artist to create – to make new things in the world – but it is also, here, to make a passionate appeal to preserve what we already have.” (Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi)  “She shows that the desert is anything but a place of emptiness.  In her vision it is always a landscape full of colour and movement.  It is perhaps the colour in the paintings that strikes the eye most immediately.  Reds, in particular, seem to glow with an especial intensity: a tribute, perhaps, to the bright fabrics worn by the women of Oman’s desert interior.  She also captures quite beautifully the changing conditions of light in the desert.  A low evening sun picks out the delicate shade of luminous purple in a dish-dasha, which glows in the painting as though responding to an ultra-violet source.”  “Linger with one of these works for a moment longer, and, as the colours continue to vibrate, the movement of the figures, communicated with a flurry of graceful and precise lines will captivate you and draw you into the instant of action itself.  A hand raised in gesture, a leg twisting in dance, faces alive with character, with warmth, with vitality.  Drawing is at the heart of her art and such is the refinement of her technique here, that the human figures in her work seem to leap with muscular energy from the two dimensions of the painting’s surface.” (Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi)  “Muscat City” glass art (RO295)  “Omani Mask with Hologram Eyes” (in various colors and designs) (  Glass Art (RO 375)  “Waiting for the market, Nizwa” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO295)  “Bow at Command” oil on canvas 50X60cm (RO 500)  “Coffee server, Mutrah” oil & glass on canvas 90X80cm (RO 1800)  “Folkdance with Drums” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X54cm (RO 325)  “Woman with Calf” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Carrying the Goat for Eid” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 39X29cm (RO 295)  “Carrying Lucerne” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Two ladies Carrying Stone Bottles” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Coffee Server, Mutrah” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X27cm (RO 295)  “Old Man Carrying Baby Goat” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 80X50cm (RO 1250)  “Woman Carrying Baby Goat” ink & watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 80X50cm (RO 1250)  “Omani Mask” glass art (RO 275)  “Little Shop in Bahla” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO 295)  “Vegetable Market in Nizwa” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 27X37cm (RO 295)  “Sitting in the Shade at Nizwa” pastel 50X65cm (RO 575)  “Folklore Musicgroup” ink and watercolor on handmade Nepalese paper 37X54cm (RO 325)  “A Walk through the Desert” water colour 35X45cm (RO 550)  “Camels in the Desert” & “Before the Start” pastel on palette (RO 400 each)   “Discussion about Fodder” pastel 40X48cm (RO 550)  “Study of Camel” water colour 30X40cm (RO 295)  “Passing a Door” pastel 70X90cm (RO 1500)

These are just some of the amazing pieces of artwork by Tonny Holsbergen available at Bait Muzna Gallery.  You better hurry though as this display is only on for 3 more days (ends on January the 8th).  If you are interested in any of the pieces, I’m sure that the ART director of the Gallery, Ellen Molliet, would be able to help you out.  ellen@baitmuznagallery.com   www.baitmuznagallery.com  (Tel: +96824739204)  Fax:+96824739205


2 responses to ““Faces of Oman” by Tonny Holsbergen

  1. Hildegard Blachnitzky

    Was kostet das Buch “Faces of Oman ?” Und wo kann man es bestellen?
    Die Bilder sind sehr schön.

  2. Hildegard,
    Thanks for the compliment about the pics. If the art is beautiful, the pics are bound to be okay! 🙂
    You asked about the cost of “Faces of Oman”. I’m assuming that you mean the book with all the pics in it. I don’t remember the exact price but I do remember that it was a very reasonable price. I am sure that if you call the gallery’s number listed above that they will be more than happy to answer any quesions and let you know how to go about ordering a copy.
    Kümmern Sie sehen!

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