Dutch Greats

The Netherlands is considered a country of art and culture by several artists. Some museums contain a large part of the collection or are even named after the artists. Thus, they all have contributed their own story of creativity to the culture and art of the country.

There are a number of names that still have a major impact on the country, culture and art to this day. You will probably recognize many of these names.

M.C. Escher
Born June 17, 1898

This artist is known for his works of art in which he made use of mathematical principles. His work can therefore often be recognized by constructions that are impossible in reality, and patterns that overlap. Some examples are the woodcut print Air and water I where fish change into birds by means of light and shadow, and the optical illusion Penrose staircase called Climbing and descending, which would be possible in reality.

Can be viewed at: Escher in Het Paleis (The Hague)

Piet Mondriaan
Born March 7, 1872

Mondrian was a painter and art theorist who has lived and worked in the Netherlands but also abroad. He has become known as a pioneer with his latest works in the direction of abstract and non-figurative art. The most famous works of art are his compositions in which he only uses the colors black, red, blue and yellow. The compositions are characterized by the large square or white areas surrounded by a black line.

Can be viewed in: Villa Mondriaan (Winterswijk) and City Hall The Hague

Vincent van Gogh
Born March 30, 1853

With his Post-Impressionist art movement, Van Gogh influenced many other aspects of 20th century art. Today he is regarded as one of the greatest painters of the 19th century. One of his most famous works is the starry night, which is recognizable by the blue dark color and the curly painted sky.

On display at: Van Gogh museum (Amsterdam)

Johannes Vermeer
Born October 31, 1632

Vermeer's artworks can be recognized by the timeless, subdued moments that he liked to capture. His paintings were very realistic and in his paintings he often used an object in the foreground that emphasizes the depth. Perhaps Vermeer's most famous work is the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Can be viewed at: Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)

Rembrandt van Rijn
Born July 15, 1606

Rembrandt van Rijn was a painter, draftsman and etcher. With his artworks full of contrast and drama, he belongs to the greatest painters and etchers in European art. The most famous work of art by Rembrandt and one of the most famous paintings in the world is The Night Watch. The artwork was part of a project that was to be placed in a party hall for the local militia.

Can be viewed at: Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)

Anne Frank
Even though this celebrity does not fall within the selection of Dutch celebrities, she does have a big name in the Netherlands and continues to be made outside the Netherlands. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl from Germany during the Second World War. Her family fled to the Netherlands to avoid prosecution by the Nazis. In the Netherlands, Anne and her family took shelter in the Secret Annex where, while in hiding, she wrote her famous book Het Achterhuis.

The museum in Amsterdam is a reconstruction of the house where Anne Frank took shelter during the Second World War. This museum is visited annually by more than 1.2 million visitors, including many foreigners. This event is also part of the history and culture of the Netherlands.