Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rien Poortvliet

In the US Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet is probably best known for his lavishly illustrated books on Gnomes.
But his real passion was to create paintings of everyday life on a farm, and sceneries depicting a hunter’s experiences. He loved the Dutch countryside, which he portrayed endless times in beautiful oil and watercolors.
Poortvliet was self-taught, he never attended any art classes. His goal was through observation to improve as an artist every day. As a young man he found jobs in the advertising world, but by the late 1960s he was able to make a living as an independent illustrator.
In 1992 his oversized book on the story of Noah’s Ark was published in the States. Here are a few studies of animals and landscapes from that edition.

© Abrams/Poortvliet

Rien Poortvliet died in Holland in 1995 at the age of only 63.
On the whole I would have to say that his work is occasionally a little too photorealistic for my taste, but I do admire his incredible technique and his love for painting and storytelling.

Here is a link to an informative interview, conducted in 1994 in his studio:

References for this post: Wikipedia