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Piet van der Hemartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsman • printmakerWirdum 1885-1961 Den Haag

biography of Pieter 'Piet' van der Hem

Portrait of artist, painter, watercolourist, draughtsman and printmaker Pieter 'Piet' van der Hem

Portrait of Pieter 'Piet' van der Hem

At the beginning of the 20th century, Piet van der Hem belonged to the group of 'moderns', which also included Gestel and Sluijters. He mainly found his subjects in the fashionable nightlife and he liked to travel a lot. In Paris, Rome, Madrid and Moscow he painted life on the streets and in cabarets, dance halls and music halls. During a stay in Volendam and Edam from 1917 to 1919, he was inspired by beach and fishing life and by the fashionable tourists who visited these fishing places. In addition to being a painter, he also worked as an illustrator and political draftsman for 'De Nieuwe Amsterdammer', 'De Haagsche Post' and 'De Haagsche Courant'. A reviewer wrote of him: 'Here is a draftsman of admirable skill, agility, clarity and pointedness at work.' Van der Hem himself said: 'I have worked hard all my life and because I know my trade well, I can make things. But I don't think anyone will write a dissertation on my work. I don't think they will lie awake whether Van der Hem meant this or that with a dash of red. Fortunately, he spoke these words at a later age, when he devoted himself to painting traditional portraits, but had already made his name as a modernist well before that. In his own words, he had always followed a 'fixed course', in which the common thread in his career was imagining people.

Born in 1885 in the Frisian town of Wirdum, Van der Hem, as a twelve-year-old orphan, was taken in by his uncle's family in Leeuwarden. After the Rijks-HBS in Leeuwarden, his art teacher encourages him to go to the State School of Applied Arts in Amsterdam. In addition, van der Hem also follows drawing training at the Rijksakademie. With a royal grant he will work for a year at Montmarte in Paris. Fascinated by modern street and nightlife, he draws and paints circus performers, clowns, dancers and women and men who engage in riotous nightlife, as Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Kees van Dongen and Jan Sluijters did before. Back in Amsterdam, he made his debut in 1906 at the exhibition of the Sint-Lucas artists' association. There is the innovative work of the Amsterdam luminists Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel and Piet Mondriaan in bright colors and loose brushstrokes. Inspired by this, Van der Hem also painted for some time in a moderately luministic style. He not only depicts the fashionable world, he is also interested in working-class neighborhoods and he captures the inhabitants, as he always did, in lively, anecdotal scenes. Between 1909 and 1913, Van der Hem had a number of successful exhibitions at, among others, Kunsthandel Boussod, Valadon & Cie. Due to his daring choice of subject, he was briefly considered to be one of the representatives of Amsterdam luminism. His painting style and use of color, on the other hand, were less extreme than his more avant-garde contemporaries. Van der Hem himself said about this: 'I was modern, but not extreme.'

The rapid developments of the early 20th century in Dutch art are difficult for Van der Hem to keep up with and he shifts his focus from painting and drawing lighthearted, elegant scenes to creating powerful portraits. This is reflected in the serious, almost gloomy portraits he made in 1913 in Katwijk and 1917/1918 in Volendam. When he finally settled in Scheveningen in 1918, he chose to paint true-to-life portraits on behalf of wealthy Americans and Dutch people, including the Royal Family. He also makes some hunting scenes (hunting is his hobby), book illustrations, posters, advertising posters and political cartoons on commission. By painting these portraits he ensures a stable income, which is very important to Van der Hem, who had an eternal fear of being short of money. His great technical ability and the good likeness of his portraits make him a successful society portraitist. Over the years, he has portrayed many prominent figures, including the dancer Mata Hari, the state portrait of The Royal Family from 1925/1926 and the Wedding Blessing of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard from 1937.

When German censorship completely dominated the Dutch press in 1941, Van der Hem ceased his activities as a political cartoonist. After the war he did not continue with this and concentrated entirely on portrait painting until his death in 1962.

previously for salepaintings, watercolours, drawings and prints & multiples by Piet van der Hem


Piet van der Hem | Too sharp for the hunter, oil on canvas, 70.0 x 90.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Too sharp for the hunter

Piet van der Hem | Barrel organ in the Jordaan, Amsterdam, oil on canvas, 55.5 x 79.2 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1909

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Barrel organ in the Jordaan, Amsterdam, ca. 1909

Piet van der Hem | Flying woodcock, oil on board, 78.5 x 59.5 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Flying woodcock

Piet van der Hem | Flying swans above a lake, oil on canvas, 101.2 x 123.2 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Flying swans above a lake

Piet van der Hem | A bullfight, Madrid, oil on canvas, 50.3 x 65.2 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1914

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

A bullfight, Madrid, 1914

Piet van der Hem | Winter holiday in the tropics with the KNSM, oil on canvas, 89.0 x 63.5 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1928

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Winter holiday in the tropics with the KNSM

Piet van der Hem | Sailing, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 72.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated Sept. 1917

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Sailing

Piet van der Hem | Elks near Alkvettern, Zweden, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 80.5 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Elks near Alkvettern, Zweden

Piet van der Hem | Café de Paris, oil on canvas, 88.0 x 57.3 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Café de Paris

Piet van der Hem | Partridges in the wood, oil on canvas, 75.6 x 109.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Partridges in the wood

Piet van der Hem | A view of a town, oil on canvas, 58.4 x 78.7 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

A view of a town

Piet van der Hem | Discussing a game of billiards, oil on canvas, 79.8 x 76.7 cm, signed l.r. and with initials and painted ca. 1919

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Discussing a game of billiards

Piet van der Hem | The Oldehove church in Leeuwarden, oil on canvas, 90.4 x 70.4 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1935

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

The Oldehove church in Leeuwarden

Piet van der Hem | Too sharp for the hunter, oil on canvas, 70.0 x 90.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Too sharp for the hunter

Piet van der Hem | A portrait of actress 'Beppie de Vries', oil on canvas, 93.0 x 73.2 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

A portrait of actress 'Beppie de Vries'

Piet van der Hem | A bullfight, oil on canvas, 61.5 x 77.2 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

A bullfight

Piet van der Hem | Een dag op het water, oil on canvas, 65.7 x 79.7 cm, gesigneerd r.o.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Een dag op het water

Piet van der Hem | The restaurant, oil on canvas, 47.3 x 58.6 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

The restaurant

Piet van der Hem | Fazanten, oil on canvas, 74.7 x 100.2 cm, gesigneerd r.o.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Fazanten

Piet van der Hem | A beach scene with mother and daughter strolling, oil on canvas, 79.0 x 65.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

A beach scene with mother and daughter strolling

Piet van der Hem | Cocktail hour, oil on canvas, 80.0 x 130.0 cm

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Cocktail hour

Piet van der Hem | Portrait of a lady, oil on canvas, 135.0 x 85.5 cm

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Portrait of a lady

Piet van der Hem | Skiing class, oil on canvas, 49.6 x 64.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Skiing class

Piet van der Hem | Portrait of a seated lady, oil on canvas, 100.0 x 77.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Portrait of a seated lady

Piet van der Hem | Elegant lady on a sofa, oil on canvas, 120.0 x 80.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • previously for sale

Elegant lady on a sofa

Piet van der Hem | Poster 'Peijnenburg's Brabantsche koekfabrieken', colour lithograph poster, 62.2 x 45.0 cm, signed l.r. on the stone

Piet van der Hem

prints & multiples • previously for sale

Poster 'Peijnenburg's Brabantsche koekfabrieken'

Piet van der Hem | Marianne with fashionable hat, chalk on paper, 54.0 x 39.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated 'Mei' 1912

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Marianne with fashionable hat, 1912

Piet van der Hem | The supper, chalk and watercolour on paper, 47.9 x 61.9 cm, signed l.r. and dated '12

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The supper

Piet van der Hem | A good catch, pen, brush and ink on paper, 23.6 x 21.6 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

A good catch

Piet van der Hem | The librarian, chalk and watercolour on paper, 33.4 x 20.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The librarian

Piet van der Hem | Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Folies Bergère, Paris, ink and chalk on paper, 32.9 x 31.4 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Folies Bergère, Paris

Piet van der Hem | A night out in Paris, Indian ink, watercolour and gouache on paper, 22.5 x 26.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated 'Paris 07'

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

A night out in Paris

Piet van der Hem | Dancing the tango, pastel and gouache on paper, 57.6 x 47.5 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Dancing the tango

Piet van der Hem | Two gentlemen having a drink, ink and watercolour on paper, 53.8 x 86.8 cm

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Two gentlemen having a drink

Piet van der Hem | The finishing touch, chalk and watercolour on paper, 45.5 x 31.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The finishing touch

Piet van der Hem | Flirtation at the bar, chalk and watercolour on paper, 45.0 x 30.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Flirtation at the bar

Piet van der Hem | The boycott of the Union for Dairy products has been postponed, 16th of August 1930, Indian ink, blue chalk and gouache on paper, 46.7 x 34.9 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The boycott of the Union for Dairy products has been postponed, 16th of August 1930

Piet van der Hem | Thriving business, Indian ink, chalk and gouache on paper, 48.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1933

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Thriving business

Piet van der Hem | Horse lovers, black chalk, watercolour and gouache on paper, 45.5 x 37.0 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Horse lovers

Piet van der Hem | Menu for Mr. and Mrs. Bax, ink and watercolour on paper, 37.2 x 22.0 cm, signed l.r. and executed on 15/3/1952

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Menu for Mr. and Mrs. Bax

Piet van der Hem | 'De katers van de C.H., S.D.A.P., A.R., V.D. en V.B.', watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.3 x 34.9 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

'De katers van de C.H., S.D.A.P., A.R., V.D. en V.B.'

Piet van der Hem | If I can be of assistance to you, ink and watercolour on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

If I can be of assistance to you

Piet van der Hem | The station, ink and watercolour on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The station

Piet van der Hem | Arbitrator, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Arbitrator

Piet van der Hem | Squeezing 'Dutch capital', watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 47.5 x 35.3 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Squeezing 'Dutch capital'

Piet van der Hem | The winning goal, ink, chalk and watercolour on paper, 50.0 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The winning goal

Piet van der Hem | Throne of 'Annexation, Communism and Finance', watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 50.4 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Throne of 'Annexation, Communism and Finance'

Piet van der Hem | Scales, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.c.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Scales

Piet van der Hem | The ladder, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.7 x 31.8 cm, signed l.r. and u.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The ladder

Piet van der Hem | The russian punchball, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.7 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

The russian punchball

Piet van der Hem | There'll be no end to it, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.8 x 36.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

There'll be no end to it

Piet van der Hem | Ruys' Elixer, Longa Vita, watercolour, blackchalk and ink on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Ruys' Elixer, Longa Vita

Piet van der Hem | Warm welcome, watercolour on paper, 43.2 x 28.1 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Warm welcome

Piet van der Hem | Après-ski, gouache on paper, 44.1 x 31.4 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Après-ski

Piet van der Hem | An elegant lady in a chair, pencil and watercolour on paper, 47.5 x 32.5 cm, signed l.c.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

An elegant lady in a chair

Piet van der Hem | Fire engine, watercolour on paper, 31.0 x 23.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Fire engine

Piet van der Hem | Flamingo dancers, watercolour on paper, 50.0 x 64.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated '14

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Flamingo dancers

Piet van der Hem | Taking a picture, Volendam, watercolour on paper, 51.0 x 41.0 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Taking a picture, Volendam

Piet van der Hem | Albania on a tray, Indian ink on paper, 35.2 x 26.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Albania on a tray

Piet van der Hem | No hawkers, Indian ink on paper, 37.0 x 26.0 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

No hawkers

Piet van der Hem | Prickly Pain, mixed media on paper, 39.0 x 29.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Prickly Pain

Piet van der Hem | A private chat, paper, 30.7 x 24.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

A private chat

Piet van der Hem | Zomerse ontmoeting op het strand, pastel on paper, 25.0 x 18.5 cm, gesigneerd r.o.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • previously for sale

Zomerse ontmoeting op het strand


for salepaintings, watercolours, drawings and prints & multiples by Piet van der Hem


Piet van der Hem | Pheasant hunt, oil on canvas, 100.5 x 80.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • for sale

Pheasant hunt

Piet van der Hem | The 'Nes' in Amsterdam by night, oil on canvas, 130.3 x 190.8 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1910

Piet van der Hem

painting • for sale

The 'Nes' in Amsterdam by night, 1910

Piet van der Hem | Alley in Amsterdam, etching, 14.3 x 17.3 cm, signed l.r. and dated '30 jan. 1911'

Piet van der Hem

prints & multiples • for sale

Alley in Amsterdam

Piet van der Hem | Poster Spyker cars, photo lithograph, 38.0 x 27.5 cm

Piet van der Hem

prints & multiples • for sale

Poster Spyker cars

Piet van der Hem | At the station, ink and watercolour on paper, 49.8 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

At the station

Piet van der Hem | The forbidden flower, chalk and Indian ink on paper, 50.0 x 35.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

The forbidden flower

Piet van der Hem | At the dog show, watercolour on paper, 127.4 x 68.0 cm, signed u.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

At the dog show

Piet van der Hem | St Nicholas' Eve, Indian ink and chalk on paper, 38.5 x 24.8 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

St Nicholas' Eve

Piet van der Hem | 'An der schönen blauen Donau', ink and watercolour on paper, 50.1 x 35.0 cm, signed l.l.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

'An der schönen blauen Donau'

Piet van der Hem | John Bull playing simultaneous chess, pen and brush, ink and gouache on paper, 45.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

watercolour • drawing • for sale

John Bull playing simultaneous chess


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