It must have been some 20 years ago that i encountered at auction a beautiful and impressive painting of a night scene. At first i thought it to be a painting by Jan Sluyters, but when i read the description it appeared to be by Piet van der Hem. A painter of who i thought that he only made (ugly) portraits and illustrations. But this night scene was very very impressive. I forgot about van der Hem because i lost interest in all portraits by all painters. a few months ago i visited the bookmarket….and there it was again …a catalogue on van der Hem and on the cover the painting i had admired so much 2 decades earlier. I bought the catalogue and found out that the works by van der Hem can be divided into 2 parts. His early paintings in which his nightlife paintings show his best qualities and the later portraits which i do not like that much. Van der Hem is an excellent painter, but just focus on his early works which are tremendous and equal to Jan Sluyters or Isaac Israel ones.
the Piet van de Hem catalogue by Stichting Kunst aan de Dijk is available at www.ftn-books.com