Jan Korthals, Dutch (1916 - 1972)

Jan Korthals

Jan Korthals (1916 - 1972) was an Amsterdam painter in the impressionist style worked.

The style of Korthals is strongly influenced by his great examples, Breitner and Mackenzie . The latter was also the uncle of Korthals and has played a stimulating role in his life.

The work of Korthals covers many cityscapes, notably Amsterdam and Paris . He also worked many commissioned to illustrate calendars and other printed matter.
At the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Jan Korthals followed his artistic training. His teachers were Hendricus IJkelenstam and Jos Rovers .

Jan Korthals, born May 1, 1916 in Amsterdam, grew up in a family of five children. The artist was there early. Already in kindergarten pulled his drawings attention. But his parents did not see anything in that artists hassle. Security of a permanent job you had to have. So Jan had to apply after the 3-year HBS. An advertising agency took Jan to. Here he could lose solid artistic skills. Unfortunately, the work was limited to putting up advertising light on walls. After a job at the Dutch Society of Life , he was clerk at the police headquarters in Amsterdam.

Drawing and painting was and remained his passion. In the evening, when he was supposed to study for his accounting degree, was Jan draw. In his sketchbook It was also in this period started slowly with oil. His first paintings he sold to his sister Co 2.50 fl. Of this money could buy again Jan new drawing and painting materials. Already at the age of 19, Jan, after balloting, a member of the Amsterdam artists St. Luke. Two years later Jan grant from the Royal Society for the Support of Youthful Visual Artists. With this grant could John the evening classes pay to the School of Applied Arts. For three years there were lessons to Hendricus IJkelenstam and Flemish Jos Rovers.

Another important teacher and mentor was his uncle Rie, or the painter Marie Henrie Mackenzie , once a pupil of George Hendrik Breitner . Although Jan Korthals Breitner never met, he developed a great admiration for the painter. John Breitner was his role model. As a student, pupil and nephew John came regularly in the workshop of his uncle. In 1938 there was even a study trip to London made. The intention was that Jan would make this trip with the painter Jan Rijlaarsdam , but this was prevented at the last minute. So Uncle Rie went along.

Meanwhile, John met the love of his life: Hilda (Geertruida Louise) Brüning whom he married in 1942. Truus Jan convinced of his own abilities and qualities of drawing and painting. Jan eventually overcame his fear and decided in the same year to exchange for an uncertain existence artists. Secure his job at the police
Jan did not count the time when he made that choice. Netherlands sighed under German occupation with all trivial consequences. Fear, unemployment and hunger were a poor basis for a beginning artist. There were only art could and wanted to buy. Few people, In order to get food on the table flower arrangements Jan painted on cardboard and board. This he sold difficult for little money. He not signed in shame this work with his own name, but with Jean Leonie. In the last year of the Second World War it was so bad that Jan decided desperate to apply for various office jobs. Again Hilda was disagreed and the letters were torn between her and never posted. Jan could not understand why he did not reply and Hilda had never told him the reason. Suddenly a few orders of Anton Pieck. As were Christmas and New Year cards, a large plate with an old fashioned bakery and a calendar of ancient professions for Unilever made. There was again some food.

In 1950 the tide turned. Utterly destitute were Jan and Hilda about to Switzerland to go try their luck. The house had been rented for half a year. Suddenly came the assignments; Printing Senefelder wanted a calendar illustrated and there came to paint actress Magda Janssens. This painting still hangs in the Municipal Theatre in Amsterdam. Assignments at one time for thousands of dollars. And Switzerland? "Switzerland, later still," said John not knowing that he was going the same year. Yet to Switzerland In 1952, Paris was 2000 years and on this occasion decided Printing Senefelder give. A 'Parisian' calendar from Jan was commissioned to deliver. Illustrations for this calendar Jan went to Paris and returned laden with sketches back. There were twelve typical cityscapes chosen as the Eiffel Tower , a street in Montmartre and the bookstalls on the Quai des Grands Augustins. There were carried out in six sheets and six color in black / white. The calendar was a great success and the then French President Vincent Auriol even sent his congratulations for the beautiful calendar and the magnificent illustrations. This was the beginning of the calendar period. Jan particular for a long time not only the face of the "Senefelderkalender". The Dutch Lloyd NV, the Dutch Self Bank and Hoogovens had their calendars and other printed materials illustrating Jan. Used in 1953 The News of the North in Groningen four drawings of Jan for their 1954 calendar. Self gave Jan 1956 to 1965 own calendars and the images he used them as Christmas cards. In 1960 and 1961, Jan also asked to illustrate. Prestigious Wine Calendar with the money earned in 1950 Jan and Truus reason in their T-ford to Switzerland. They took an expensive hotel in Lachen, a town on Lake Zurich. They hoped to meet people who wanted to buy the works of Jan people. Even the "pennies pants" went along. This was the "neat" trousers from Jan to get a good impression to potential customers to give. The first painting was purchased by the pastor of a nearby village. Soon wanted more people have "something of that painter". In 1952, the second trip to Switzerland, met Jan and Hilda in a hotel in Ticino one of the directors of the "Maggia Werke". This was a Swiss company that was building a dam in the Maggia Valley. Now one years was looking for an artist who wanted to paint or draw the structure. Jan decided to take a week to work high. On a mountainside with a homemade umbrella at your own risk He was commissioned and produced dozens of drawings for the price of SF 400, = per piece. At that time, a huge amount. This was the beginning of foreign travel.

France , Belgium , Spain , Italy , Germany , the former Yugoslavia and later England, traveled to their camper converted VW bus. This bus was to be the last with two hands from the first to second gear switch, many miles were driven with it. These trips yielded a large number of sketches and impressions on. Many of these were later used in the workshop as a basis for oil paintings. Despite the many trips the house on the Amstel still home and fixed base in the life of John and Hilda stayed. Jan was a real "mensenman". He made contact easily and often invited fellow artists. These "friends evenings" were always very pleasant. These were evenings when John pulled out his violin and musicianship into the wee hours, talked, laughed and was drunk. Between the 40s and 60s there were regular attention to John's work in the press. This helped John by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Sciences with his fellow painter Theo Swagemakers (1898-1994) in 1956 a scholarship to two months Ceylon to stay. The prerequisite for this was that there was a painting made. The KLM sponsored the trip and Jan came home laden with sketches. Some of them were used as a calendar plate.

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