Louis Apolartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanDen Haag 1850-1936
biography of Lodewijk Franciscus Hendrik 'Louis' Apol
Portrait of Lodewijk Franciscus Hendrik 'Louis' Apol
Young Louis Apol did not lack talent. From the age of 15 he was taught in the studio of Johannes Franciscus Hoppenbrouwers and made his debut at the Triennial Exhibition in The Hague in 1869. Andreas Schelfhout said there - one year before his death - 'That boy will take it far'. At his recommendation, his granddaughter, the flower painter Margaretha Roosenboom, bought the first exhibited work by Apol. This honor gave his reputation a flying start and he was immediately able to practice drawing and painting for a year as a pensioner for King William III.
'There are chosen ones,' wrote Johan Gram on October 27, 1892, 'who come into the world with a palette and brush, and in the easiest and most gradual way, seemingly playing, produce a series of charming and admirable works of art.' Gram also counted Apol these 'chosen ones'. That he had seen that well was clear from the gold medal that Apol received at the exhibition in The Hague in 1872.
Apol built up a solid reputation as an award-winning winter painter and received various awards. King William III, for example, gave him the 'Knight's Cross of the Oak Crown' and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam purchased a large winter landscape from him.
In contrast to his predecessors in The Hague, the emphasis in his paintings is not on upholstery. Nature plays the leading role, in all its loneliness. No cheerful scenes full of life and movement, no fun fair on the ice. Apol represents nature that speaks for itself, impressive, picturesque and in its simplicity. His winter landscapes give the feeling that the viewer is taking a walk in the woods. The fresh powder snow on the bare branches exudes the icy silence of a deserted forest. Apol often depicts only a few figures, a walker with a dog or a wood gatherer with a horse and cart. The path on which you walk has been shaped by man, but still radiates the tranquility of untouched nature.