Full name: Johannes Gerardus Diederik "Johan" van Hell
Born: February 28, 1889 in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Died: December 31, 1952 in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sport: Art Competitions
Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)
Johan Van Hell was a Dutch visual artist and musician. Even as a young boy he knew that he wanted to combine these two art directions during his lifetime, as he stated: “I want to become an artist and a musician and I want to pursue both careers with all my strength.”
There then followed periods of almost frantic painting juxtaposed with periods of mostly music making. Beginning in 1909, and throughout his life, he taught both music and art. Both of his wives shared his passion; the first one, Pauline Wijnman, was a skilful artist and the second one, Caroline Lankhout, was a concert pianist. Both wives also shared his devotion to the socialist cause.
In music he learned to play clarinet and experimented in music ranging from baroque to jazz. He often played with smaller ensembles and in later years he loved chamber music.
He mostly painted oil portraits of friends and family members, landscapes, and views from his apartment, but some were in watercolor. From 1925 he adopted geometric approaches to show his social messages depicted in the features of the persons he painted. During that time he also produced lithographs.
The terrible years before and during WWII – as his second wife had a Jewish father – saw decreased production of his works, but after the war he again produced his captivating art. In 1952 he died after a severe kidney infection complicated by his fragile diabetes.
In 2005 at Arnhem the exhibition “Van de Straat,” featuring the major work of van Hell, brought him full recognition in the Netherlands.
|1924 Summer||35||Paris||Art Competitions||Mixed Painting||Netherlands||NED||3||Bronze|