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Willem Roelofsartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanAmsterdam 1822-1897 Berchem (België)

biography of Willem Roelofs

Portrait of artist, painter, watercolourist and draughtsman Willem Roelofs

Portrait of Willem Roelofs

The first twenty-five years of his life, Willem Roelofs lived alternately in Utrecht and The Hague, where he was taught by the animal and landscape painter Hendrikus van de Sande Bakhuyzen. In 1847 he moved to Brussels. The art climate there was more favorable for a starting painter than in the Netherlands. He did, however, remain an active member of Pulchri Studio and kept in touch with art life in The Hague. Roelofs would live in Brussels for 40 years. He was almost immediately successful with his paintings. Through exhibitions he became acquainted with the work of the Barbizon painters. He would adopt the realism with which they captured nature. Presumably he himself traveled in 1851 for the first time, and as one of the first Dutchmen, to the forests of Fontainebleau.

While Roelofs first sought inspiration in the Brussels area, from 1856 he traveled annually to the Netherlands. Just like his colleagues from the Haagse School, he was interested in the landscape that until then was considered too ordinary in our country: the polder land with windmills, marshy pastures with cows under heavy cloudy skies, heaths and rivers. First he went to Drenthe, later he searched for idyllic spots along the Gein, around the Nieuwkoopse Plassen and near Loosdrecht. He focused on capturing the mood and the light of the moment, which constantly changed on cloudy days. He carefully collected his impressions in sketches and oil paint studies on canvas, which he used to elaborate the painting in his studio. It is known that Roelofs made a lot of this. A good outdoor study, as Roelofs called it, had to hold 'the breath of nature' and served as a memory aid in making the painting. Often he also provided these oil paint studies with inscriptions indicating the place or month and sometimes a number that corresponded with other oil paint sketches from the same region. The appreciation of contemporaries for the immediacy of these landscapes is evident from the fact that they were regularly sold as independent works of art.

In the Netherlands, his innovations in the field of landscape art were not fully recognized until the 1970s, and he is called by his contemporaries the 'pioneer of modern Dutch painting'. Museums in Belgium and the Netherlands buy work from him in these years. In 1887 Roelofs finally returned to The Hague.

for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Roelofs W.


Roelofs W.  | A summer landscape with windmills and two anglers, oil on panel, 28.7 x 47.6 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1872-1875Roelofs W.

A summer landscape with windmills and two anglers, oil on panel, 28.7 x 47.6 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1872-1875

Roelofs W.  | Behind the farm, oil on panel, 22.1 x 37.7 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1855-1860Roelofs W.

Behind the farm, oil on panel, 22.1 x 37.7 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1855-1860

Roelofs W.  | Cows in a water landscape, oil on canvas, 24.2 x 38.9 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1880Roelofs W.

Cows in a water landscape, oil on canvas, 24.2 x 38.9 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1880

Roelofs W.  | Farmstead with shepherdess, cows and sheep, oil on panel, 23.2 x 36.0 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1861-1867Roelofs W.

Farmstead with shepherdess, cows and sheep, oil on panel, 23.2 x 36.0 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1861-1867

Roelofs W.  | Sketch of poplars, oil on panel, 34.0 x 24.0 cmRoelofs W.

Sketch of poplars, oil on panel, 34.0 x 24.0 cm

Roelofs W.  | The dolmen of Tynaarlo, Drenthe, oil on panel, 28.9 x 46.2 cm, signed l.r. with initials and painted ca. 1863-1870Roelofs W.

The dolmen of Tynaarlo, Drenthe, oil on panel, 28.9 x 46.2 cm, signed l.r. with initials and painted ca. 1863-1870

Roelofs W.  | The river Gein near the Velderslaan, Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 30.3 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 'Juillet' 1881 on the reverseRoelofs W.

The river Gein near the Velderslaan, Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 30.3 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 'Juillet' 1881 on the reverse

Roelofs W.  | Two windmills in the Stolwijk polder (near Gouda), oil on panel, 14.8 x 24.0 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1872-1875Roelofs W.

Two windmills in the Stolwijk polder (near Gouda), oil on panel, 14.8 x 24.0 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1872-1875


previously for salepaintings, watercolours and drawings by Roelofs W.


Roelofs W.  | 'Le Gein pres du Veldenslaan', oil on panel, 30.3 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

'Le Gein pres du Veldenslaan', oil on panel, 30.3 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A Dutch polder landscape, oil on canvas, 44.6 x 69.5 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A Dutch polder landscape, oil on canvas, 44.6 x 69.5 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A canal near Schiedam, oil on panel, 35.3 x 63.2 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1867Roelofs W.

A canal near Schiedam, oil on panel, 35.3 x 63.2 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1867

Roelofs W.  | A cow, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.7 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A cow, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.7 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A farmer's wife on a country road, watercolour on paper, 33.1 x 49.4 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A farmer's wife on a country road, watercolour on paper, 33.1 x 49.4 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A forest landscape with watering cows, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 43.7 x 28.7 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A forest landscape with watering cows, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 43.7 x 28.7 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A heath landscape, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 24.1 x 41.1 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A heath landscape, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 24.1 x 41.1 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A landscape near Gouda, oil on panel, 29.8 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A landscape near Gouda, oil on panel, 29.8 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A landscape near Putte, Belgium, oil on canvas, 48.0 x 75.3 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A landscape near Putte, Belgium, oil on canvas, 48.0 x 75.3 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A landscape with a haycart, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 23.0 x 41.2 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A landscape with a haycart, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 23.0 x 41.2 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A landscape with cows grazing, oil on panel, 7.5 x 12.4 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A landscape with cows grazing, oil on panel, 7.5 x 12.4 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A moored flatboat, watercolour on paper, 16.0 x 23.0 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A moored flatboat, watercolour on paper, 16.0 x 23.0 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape, oil on panel, 28.0 x 50.4 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A polder landscape, oil on panel, 28.0 x 50.4 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape, oil on canvas, 31.0 x 43.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A polder landscape, oil on canvas, 31.0 x 43.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape, oil on panel, 21.0 x 34.0 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A polder landscape, oil on panel, 21.0 x 34.0 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape with windmills, oil on canvas, 46.0 x 73.0 cmRoelofs W.

A polder landscape with windmills, oil on canvas, 46.0 x 73.0 cm

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape with windmills, oil on canvas, 68.5 x 99.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A polder landscape with windmills, oil on canvas, 68.5 x 99.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A polder landscape with windmills, oil on panel, 28.0 x 59.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1880-1885Roelofs W.

A polder landscape with windmills, oil on panel, 28.0 x 59.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted in 1880-1885

Roelofs W.  | A rainbow, oil on canvas, 69.0 x 94.2 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A rainbow, oil on canvas, 69.0 x 94.2 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A river landscape with a rainbow, oil on canvas, 47.4 x 74.0 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A river landscape with a rainbow, oil on canvas, 47.4 x 74.0 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A river landscape with windmill, oil on panel, 23.7 x 28.8 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated 1841Roelofs W.

A river landscape with windmill, oil on panel, 23.7 x 28.8 cm, signed l.r. with monogram and dated 1841

Roelofs W.  | A ruin in a wooded landscape, oil on panel, 19.6 x 24.7 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1940Roelofs W.

A ruin in a wooded landscape, oil on panel, 19.6 x 24.7 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1940

Roelofs W.  | A stream, oil on canvas laid down on painter's board, 23.0 x 40.5 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A stream, oil on canvas laid down on painter's board, 23.0 x 40.5 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A town view, watercolour on paper, 30.4 x 51.1 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

A town view, watercolour on paper, 30.4 x 51.1 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | A windmill in a hilly landscape, ink and watercolour on paper, 19.9 x 28.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1847Roelofs W.

A windmill in a hilly landscape, ink and watercolour on paper, 19.9 x 28.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1847

Roelofs W.  | A wooded landscape, oil on panel, 66.8 x 99.8 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

A wooded landscape, oil on panel, 66.8 x 99.8 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | A yard with a well, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 42.5 x 66.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1855Roelofs W.

A yard with a well, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 42.5 x 66.0 cm, signed l.l. and dated 1855

Roelofs W.  | Activity by a cottage, oil on panel, 20.2 x 33.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1856Roelofs W.

Activity by a cottage, oil on panel, 20.2 x 33.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1856

Roelofs W.  | An extensive lake landscape near Noorden, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 28.3 x 45.1 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

An extensive lake landscape near Noorden, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 28.3 x 45.1 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Angler in a forest landscape, oil on panel, 25.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated '51Roelofs W.

Angler in a forest landscape, oil on panel, 25.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.r. and dated '51

Roelofs W.  | Angler on a lake near Noorden, oil on canvas, 68.3 x 100.2 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1880-1888Roelofs W.

Angler on a lake near Noorden, oil on canvas, 68.3 x 100.2 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1880-1888

Roelofs W.  | Anglers in a polder landscape, oil on panel, 24.2 x 40.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated '56Roelofs W.

Anglers in a polder landscape, oil on panel, 24.2 x 40.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated '56

Roelofs W.  | Anglers in a river landscape, oil on panel, 25.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Anglers in a river landscape, oil on panel, 25.0 x 35.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Après-midi, Loosdrecht, oil on canvas, 26.7 x 44.6 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Après-midi, Loosdrecht, oil on canvas, 26.7 x 44.6 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Aux environs d'Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.7 x 43.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1881 on the reverseRoelofs W.

Aux environs d'Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.7 x 43.8 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1881 on the reverse

Roelofs W.  | Cattle in a landscape, oil on panel, 15.0 x 25.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Cattle in a landscape, oil on panel, 15.0 x 25.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Cattle in a polder landscape, oil on canvas, 84.0 x 139.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted circa 1860Roelofs W.

Cattle in a polder landscape, oil on canvas, 84.0 x 139.0 cm, signed l.r. and painted circa 1860

Roelofs W.  | Chickens on a yard, Putten, watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 45.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1876Roelofs W.

Chickens on a yard, Putten, watercolour on paper, 29.5 x 45.0 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1876

Roelofs W.  | Cowherd with cows in the woods, oil on panel, 56.1 x 45.8 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cowherd with cows in the woods, oil on panel, 56.1 x 45.8 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows grazing near Gouda, oil on panel, 22.5 x 41.2 cm, signed twiceRoelofs W.

Cows grazing near Gouda, oil on panel, 22.5 x 41.2 cm, signed twice

Roelofs W.  | Cows grazing, the river Lek in the distance, oil on panel, 12.4 x 27.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows grazing, the river Lek in the distance, oil on panel, 12.4 x 27.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows in a meadow, oil on panel, 17.8 x 32.2 cmRoelofs W.

Cows in a meadow, oil on panel, 17.8 x 32.2 cm

Roelofs W.  | Cows in a meadow, oil on panel, 11.2 x 20.4 cm, signed l.r. and l.l. and dated 1882Roelofs W.

Cows in a meadow, oil on panel, 11.2 x 20.4 cm, signed l.r. and l.l. and dated 1882

Roelofs W.  | Cows in a meadow, Voorn Utrecht, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 25.7 x 40.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows in a meadow, Voorn Utrecht, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 25.7 x 40.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows in a polder landscape, watercolour on paper, 36.3 x 49.7 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows in a polder landscape, watercolour on paper, 36.3 x 49.7 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows on the riverbank, oil on canvas, 24.0 x 44.2 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows on the riverbank, oil on canvas, 24.0 x 44.2 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows on the riverbank of the river Gein, oil on canvas, 109.4 x 174.5 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Cows on the riverbank of the river Gein, oil on canvas, 109.4 x 174.5 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Cows wading, oil on canvas, 30.0 x 44.8 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows wading, oil on canvas, 30.0 x 44.8 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Cows watering, oil on canvas, 70.0 x 101.0 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Cows watering, oil on canvas, 70.0 x 101.0 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Drinking cows on the waterside, oil on panel, 17.2 x 27.1 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Drinking cows on the waterside, oil on panel, 17.2 x 27.1 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Drinking cows, Lanaije, oil on canvas, 43.7 x 28.5 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1884Roelofs W.

Drinking cows, Lanaije, oil on canvas, 43.7 x 28.5 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1884

Roelofs W.  | Farmstead in summer, Drenthe, oil on canvas, 45.4 x 71.2 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Farmstead in summer, Drenthe, oil on canvas, 45.4 x 71.2 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Farmyard 'Ruurlo', oil on canvas laid down on panel, 24.3 x 39.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Farmyard 'Ruurlo', oil on canvas laid down on panel, 24.3 x 39.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Figures in a hilly landscape, oil on canvas, 59.0 x 79.1 cm, signed c.r. and painted circa 1842Roelofs W.

Figures in a hilly landscape, oil on canvas, 59.0 x 79.1 cm, signed c.r. and painted circa 1842

Roelofs W.  | Houses along a waterway, oil on panel, 33.4 x 48.2 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Houses along a waterway, oil on panel, 33.4 x 48.2 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Landscape with sheep near a farm, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 27.7 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Landscape with sheep near a farm, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 27.7 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Loosdrecht, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.3 x 44.1 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1881Roelofs W.

Loosdrecht, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.3 x 44.1 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1881

Roelofs W.  | Meadow near Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 21.3 x 40.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Meadow near Abcoude, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 21.3 x 40.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Milking time, oil on canvas, 37.3 x 58.4 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1886Roelofs W.

Milking time, oil on canvas, 37.3 x 58.4 cm, signed l.l. and painted ca. 1886

Roelofs W.  | Moored vessels in Leidschendam, oil on panel, 15.3 x 18.6 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Moored vessels in Leidschendam, oil on panel, 15.3 x 18.6 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Mountainous landscape with cows, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 12.0 x 26.3 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Mountainous landscape with cows, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 12.0 x 26.3 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Near the Abcoude lake, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 29.0 x 44.7 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Near the Abcoude lake, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 29.0 x 44.7 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Polder landscape, oil on panel, 35.5 x 68.5 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Polder landscape, oil on panel, 35.5 x 68.5 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Polder landscape between Abcoude and Weesp, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.9 x 41.8 cmRoelofs W.

Polder landscape between Abcoude and Weesp, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 26.9 x 41.8 cm

Roelofs W.  | Polder landscape with cows, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 80.0 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Polder landscape with cows, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 80.0 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Schoolroom, oil on panel, 24.0 x 30.4 cm, signed l.c. and dated 1839Roelofs W.

Schoolroom, oil on panel, 24.0 x 30.4 cm, signed l.c. and dated 1839

Roelofs W.  | Smockmills along a canal, oil on panel, 14.5 x 12.9 cm, signed l.l. and dated '56Roelofs W.

Smockmills along a canal, oil on panel, 14.5 x 12.9 cm, signed l.l. and dated '56

Roelofs W.  | The 't Hoog- en Groenland mill, Baambrugge, oil on canvas, 46.5 x 72.8 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

The 't Hoog- en Groenland mill, Baambrugge, oil on canvas, 46.5 x 72.8 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | The river 'Gein', oil on canvas, 110.0 x 175.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

The river 'Gein', oil on canvas, 110.0 x 175.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | View of the river Gein, oil on canvas, 45.9 x 72.2 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

View of the river Gein, oil on canvas, 45.9 x 72.2 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Village along a waterway, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 16.8 x 38.5 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Village along a waterway, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 16.8 x 38.5 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Water mill, oil on panel, 17.7 x 25.8 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Water mill, oil on panel, 17.7 x 25.8 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Waterlilies, oil on canvas, 41.1 x 58.3 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Waterlilies, oil on canvas, 41.1 x 58.3 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Willows at the waterfront, Loosdrecht, oil on canvas, 26.5 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Willows at the waterfront, Loosdrecht, oil on canvas, 26.5 x 44.0 cm, signed l.r.

Roelofs W.  | Windmills along a canal, oil on canvas, 68.5 x 99.5 cm, signed l.l.Roelofs W.

Windmills along a canal, oil on canvas, 68.5 x 99.5 cm, signed l.l.

Roelofs W.  | Windmills in a polder landscape, oil on panel, 12.0 x 19.0 cm, signed l.r.Roelofs W.

Windmills in a polder landscape, oil on panel, 12.0 x 19.0 cm, signed l.r.


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