Two boys from Katendrecht (2017) Dolf Henkes

photo Aad Hoogendoorn
About the artwork

In this ornamental frame we see a painting of two young boys who lived in Katendrecht. Jan (left) was 15 years old and Dick (right) was 14 years old, when Dolf Henkes made a painting of them in his studio in 1956. Dick (1942) has lived on the Cape all his life, still today. He remembers playing outside with his friend Jan when Dolf asked them to pose for him. Dick is the boy with the bow, but he never looked so elegant before, he said when he looked at the painting in the ornament frame. The composition of the painting has been adapted by Atelier Leo Mineur for the narrow frame. In the summer of 2017 Two boys from Katendrecht and eight other ornament frames, containing restored and new works of art in the Katendrecht district of Rotterdam, completed. They have been realized in the project Cape color, a collaboration between Verhalenhuis Belvédère and BKOR.

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About the artist

Dolf Henkes drew and painted since childhood (Rotterdam, 1903 - Rotterdam, 1989). He grew up in the harbor area of ​​Katendrecht and sailed from 1926 to 1928. After that, art was increasingly attractive. He got his first exhibition in London in 1929, three years later he took the step to establish himself as an artist independently. From 1935 to 1937 he lived in Paris, the epicenter of art. But when the war started, he returned to Katendrecht - almost forever. In 1940 he moved into a house at 92a Veerlaan with his family. The war "awakened him to color", he says later, and he continued to paint color, with strange overflowing hues. His work has an expressive, 'loose' style in an unmistakable handwriting and sometimes remarkable techniques. In 1944 he drew the devastation of the war in Rotterdam. After the war he continued to travel and his fame grew. Not only as an artist, but also because of his quarrel with the underworld, he made the papers. Because in 1956, a brothel opened next to his house on Veerlaan, where he then lives with his brother and two sisters. After a stabbing incident, in which Dolf stabbed an attacker of his brother, he was given a suspended prison sentence of four months and was not allowed to visit Katendrecht for two years. After that, he would continue to live in Katendrecht until his death, to which he had pledged his heart. You can see that in his paintings: a lot of Rotterdam, the river, harbor, boats in the fog. But also portraits, human figures, clowns, still lifes, sometimes a religious theme. He practiced his own graphic and realistic style of hard lines and lyrical colors. Henkes was one of the most famous Cape painters, together with Wally Elenbaas and Daan van Golden. When he was 85 years old, he died in the house on Veerlaan with his beloved view over the Maas. Nowadays, the Dolf Henkel Prize is awarded every two years in his name to an unconventional artist.

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Katendrechtsestraat 198, 3072 NX Rotterdam, Netherlands