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Wedding photo with mothers, 1924

On 16 June 1924 Maurits marries Jetta Umiker in the Italian coastal town Viareggio. The eldest daughter of the Swiss businessman Arturo Umiker and the Italian Enrichetta Cataneo, she was a silent girl whom he had met in Ravello 15 months earlier. Maurits was fascinated by this melancholic, sickly girl. He believed she was unhappy and the infatuated young man hoped to make her happy. Though not necessarily through marriage, as he was afraid of losing his artistic freedom and wanted more time to get to know Jetta. But after a rather difficult correspondence (they did not speak the same language and ‘love’ was too strong a word for their initial feelings), a mutual bond of love was established in April 1924. The couple left for the Italian Riviera, where it was cooler than in suffocating Rome. On the 12 June they married in the town hall, followed on 16 June by a religious ceremony (in accordance with the wishes of Jetta, who was Catholic). The photo shows the couple flanked by their mothers.


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