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Piet van der Hem (1885-1961)

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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.

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the Piet van de Hem catalogue by Stichting Kunst aan de Dijk is available at www.ftn-books.com

piet van der hem