Katwijks Museum

The neighbourhoods and streets of Katwijk

Afgelopen (14 March 2017 till 18 June 2017)

In earlier times, in the seventeenth century, Katwijk was visited by painters of landscapes and of town scenes, such as Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan van Goyen. With the arrival of D.A.C. Artz and B.J. Blommers in 1898, and also thanks to the good connections with the hinterland and relative quiet compared to Scheveningen, a virtual rush of painters started to arrive. Thus an ‘ artist’s colony ‘ developed in Katwijk. As far as is known, more than 1100 artists- most between 1870 and 1914- were at work in Katwijk. Artists from within the Netherlands and abroad - often admirers and followers of the ‘School of the Hague‘- came to paint here in the open air. Many stayed for a longer time.
The Great Bath Hotel (Groot Badhotel), Of the Rhine ( Du Rhin), Van Tellingen, The Swan (De Zwaan), and Sea Rest (Zeerust) were among the establishments where the artists stayed. Others lodged in the houses of the ordinary Katwijkers. A number of artists such as Jan Toroop, Willy Sluiter, Bernard Blommers and Evert Pieters even came to live in Katwijk and had villa’s built for themselves on the Boulevard.
Katwijkers in traditional costumes, flat-bottomed fishing smacks, the fish auction on the beach and the Old Church were favorite subjects to paint. But there were also painters who went into the village itself to find their subject matters. They set up their easels on the corners of the little streets and alleyways to paint the (fisherman’s)houses, the neighbourhoods, enclosed yards, views and streets of Katwijk-on-the Sea (Katwijk an Zee) and Katwijk-on-the-Rhine (Katwijk aan den Rijn).
These are often sphere-rich intimate pictures, well ordered and where the weather is always good with pretty skys and drifting clouds . The small cottages and narrow streets are realistically painted. But that does not mean that they were always topographically accurately portrayed. Artistic freedom meant that some artist’s would set a building in a different place, leave it out, or place it in a different background, to make a more appealing composition or light-effect.
The First World-War, in which the Netherlands remained ’neutral but impoverished’, and the disappearance of the flat-bottomed fishing smacks from the beach caused the artists to start to loose interest in Katwijk. A few adepten kept returning to the village, but the popularity peak of the artist’s colony was passed. The image of the village of Katwijk then, is long gone and the experiences of many of it’s inhabitants and visitors have mostly blurred.
The exhibition and accompanying book have been created to bring back that image- using paintings from the period and modern day photographs - to bring the story of Katwijk as a village of artists to the attention of the visitor.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 17.00, closed on Sunday and public holidays.
Katwijks Museum, Vorstraat 46, 2225 ER Katwijk : telephone- 071-4013047: e-mail: pr@katwijksmuseum.nl website: www.katwijksmuseum.nl

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