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Hans Withoos

Hans Withoos

Withoos Meets Withoos

Exhibition Time: 2:00pm daily, except for private bookings

Artist Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

About the


Withoos meets Withoos: A co-operation with my 17th-century ancestors Mathias Withoos and his children with my own artistic and modern approach.

I am fascinated by beauty in all its aspects: the beauty of drama, of the body and of light, as well as the beauty of suffering. My photography is set in a world of abundance and artifice, suggesting a certain decadence. It is a world that is both alien and familiar. The figures that crowd the images become archetypes, leaving the viewer with a sense of alienation. My work is multi-layered, with carefully staged images and an idiosyncratic aesthetic. The images sometimes evoke emotions such as suffering, sensuality and oppressiveness.

In 2016, I started my research into the paintings of my ancestor Mathias Withoos (1627-1703). Having studied under Jacob van Camper he travelled to Italy in 1648, where he became one of ‘The Bentveughels’. He was supported by Leopoldo de Medici. I also studied the work of his children, who mostly created gouaches of nature, and by paying attention to every aspect of their work I try to integrate it into my modern view of art.I started with the symbolism of Mathias’s work, but later I also applied his use of colour and contrasting lines, or aspects of these, to my modern warriors, and so I created my own story. This resulted in timeless artworks, to which I added emotion, life and people. My work can be seen as romantic, surrealistic.

In 2020-2021, I worked with Inge Theunissen (‘Itmoves’ –Arnhem) on a surrealistic film. The 12-minute film shows both my earlier works with Mathias Withoos and the most recent ones, and it gives a good impression of my way of thinking. Inge’s skills in filming and her sympathetic style of editing perfectly complemented my work.The film is shown in several museums and at art exhibitions, but it is not online yet because we have other plans for it.

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Selections from the Exhibition