Art Revisited logo
Roesd Giclée - shop
Home Artists Rudolf de Bruyn Ouboter
Back to search

Rudolf de Bruyn Ouboter

Rudolf de Bruyn Ouboter Rudolf de Bruyn Ouboter, painter of water colours, was once described by his friend and contemporary fellow-painter Kees Verwey as "the prince of water colour painters." A qualification that speaks for itself.

De Bruyn Ouboter was born on 7 July, 1894 in Hulst, in the very south of The Netherlands. In The Hague, where his parents moved a couple of years later, the painter Bernard Schregel became his teacher. In The Hague he also studied at the drawing school of Bik and Vaandrager and followed evening classes of model drawing at Pulchri Studio. In 1922 he set out to M?, where he studied with the German painter Walter Thor. Two years later he married Margot Mazel, with whom he moved to Paris. There he studied at the Acad?e de La Grande Chaumi?. Subsequently the young couple spent a year in Florence where they lived in the villa of the Dutch artist Van der Velde. However, as a painter De Bruyn Ouboter did not feel at home with the bright southern light, the Dutch skies and atmosphere had a greater attraction for him and in May 1926 Rudolf and Margot returned to Holland. There De Bruyn Ouboter continued to take lessons at the Hague Academy.

In 1931 he made an important discovery: he made a composition of a small orange tree and a pewter plate with ? water colour. The result was so convincing that it seemed impossible to return to oil and canvas.

De Bruyn Ouboter has dedicated the rest of his life to the aquarelle. The transparent lightness with which he represents his subjects is characteristic of his work. For the most part he chose his subjects from what was, both literally and metaphorically, close at hand. Objects in and around the house, such as flowers, glassware, his mother's dolls, an antique chest of drawers. But he also painted what his son or friends brought home from the beach or from trips further afield. His work also includes various portraits of his wife, children and some good friends.

In his entire work light plays a predominant role. His paintings often seem to have been painted in the same light-hearted manner that characterizes the final result. The contrary is true. De Bruyn Ouboter has always worked under a considerable strain, himself always doubtful about the result. He once said: "Why I ever began doing it, I still cannot understand, but I just had to do it."