About Wim Steijn

Wim Steijn was renowned for his paintings and etchings as well as his graphic arts. He was born in 1914 in the village of Assendelft in the Netherlands. Was raised in Jisp, Oostzaan and Wormer. From 1931 he resided in Haarlem, where a well-known art dealer, De Bois, who bought his work and organised an exposition for him, had quickly realised Wim's remarkable talent. It was there that he became a student of Henri Frederique Boot and worked together with Kees Verweij, with whom he shared a studio for a time.

Shortly after the war Wim met and married Janna Koolman who was 9 years older than he. Sadly Janna was deaf, but despite this handicap it was a happy and fruitful union that changed the introvert side of Wimeijn's personality, and his thoughtful manner of speaking for the better. The lady owner of an old estate called "Groot Bentveld"; surrounded by a centuries old hunting ground between Aerdenhout en Zandvoort took Janna into her employ. There they lived in a side-wing of the house and it was there that Wim was inspired to put his all into his work and unfurled himself as a full-blown artist. Janna died in 1965.

Later he met Ger de Leeuw, who owned an art gallery namely,"Galerie Uittenhout". Meeting Ger was a complete turning point in Wim's life. The strong contrast in these two women, who so greatly influenced his work, was in many of his portraits clearly expressed, but also recognisable in his other works. Janna because of her handicap was a wise and peaceful woman who came from the widespread countryside of North-Holland, with an affinity for the land, as one with Wim. Ger on the other hand was a fast living, artistic woman. Ger herself being a poet, was given to strong mood changes. She was very beautiful, with a love for the social life. She surrounded herself in this beautiful country estate with artists and friends.

Wim's marriage to Ger was the beginning of a time of new creativity. She was a great source of inspiration and her moods were reflected in all his work; explosive power in contrast with serene contentment; sparkling blossom trees in bright tints against dark, gloomy turbulent skies. Their life was never dull. With Wim's simplicity en great wisdom contrasting with her artistic mind and sense of humour, they were a great combination indeed.

Together they travelled far and there were expositions in many Cities as well as in the Netherlands, and Wim received countless prizes. Wim died in 1980, and, up to the very last with a brush in his hand.

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