Leo Mineur (2017) Atelier Leo Mineur

Aad Hoogendoorn
About the artwork

For this ornament frame on Katendrecht, a portrait of Leo Mineur (1892-1976) has been worked out as a mural. The portrait was painted by Willem Kerssemeijer, who took over the Atelier Leo Mineur with his wife. Leo Mineur was not officially a visual artist, although he sometimes made a painting himself. He was a good friend of artist Dolf Henkes, which gave status to his own artistry. The basis for this mural is a photo of him in his studio at the time that he lived with his wife Lena on Katendrecht. Mineur was known as 'a great Rotterdam artist', with fashionable clothing and knowledge of Parisian artist life. He was particularly fascinated by the French impressionists. The career of Mineur began in 1919 with Atelier Engelman, also an advertising and cinema painter, and developed a smart technique there. He asked the film operator for a piece of film, celluloid, then projected it on a large board and set the contours on the surface. In this way the paintings became much more realistic and he could thicken it a little more; make women more seductive and the violence grim. Not everyone thought that was a good idea and that is why censors were added to approve the paintings. A development that is thanks to Mineur. But that went too far for some customers. Tuschinski became so angry that Engelman fired Mineur who then started for himself. This is how Atelier Leo Mineur was born in 1924. The first years did not go well at all. Mineur was not good at acquisition and very nervous. In 1940, his bombing center also destroyed his studio in the center. After the war, the company finally flourished. Wall art was a matter of size and scale, of suggestion, illusion and influence. It had to look good without attention to details and be finished as quickly as possible. As realistic as possible, sometimes soft focus. The profession required skill and daring. You didn't have to fear heights and if it started to thunder, you might get a shock ... In the summer of 2017 this work and eight other ornament frames, containing restored and new artworks in Rotterdam's Katendrecht district, were delivered. They have been realized in the project Cape color, a collaboration between Verhalenhuis Belvédère and BKOR.

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About the artist

Atelier Leo Mineur was founded in 1924 and is a successful advertising company that produced large-scale advertising and cinema paintings. From around 1900 there were already many murals in the city; not so much works of art, but paintings to promote cinema films or products. Only a handful of artists could live from pure free practice of art, so you also worked at an advertising studio, where you learned the art of painting. From the 1970s onwards, mainly visual art was added: painters wanted to fill the vacant ornament frames on buildings, previously intended for commercials, with painting. But standing outside on high scaffolding, she went too far. So they made a sketch and Atelier Mineur then executed it. The company has since been bought and continued by one of the painters, Willem Kerssemeijer and his wife Michelle Geurts. As a specialized craft company, it is still active in paintings in public spaces. It is Kerssemeijer, who has been working for the company for about 35 years and who has painted various murals on Katendrecht in 2017. Also Leo Mineur's.

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Tolhuislaan 259, 3072 LP Rotterdam, Netherlands