Willem Jan Pieter van der Does (1889-1966)
Kali in old Surabaya
Signed bottom right W.v.d.Does
Oil on canvas, 51.4 x 61.5 cm
Willem van der Does was born in Rotterdam on the 20th of April 1889, as a son of a sea commander working in Indonesia. Since his childhood, he was destined by his family to become an artist. He studied at the Rotterdam Academy of Arts, and in 1918 he travelled to Indonesia as a civil servant to survey the country. In this function, he travelled all over the archipelago. Van der Does was also the first Dutchman to have travelled to Antarctica, in 1923- 1924. During his travels to Antarctica, he made about 144 sketches for his book ‘Storm, IJs en Walvisschen’ describing his expedition to Antarctica. With his paintings, Van der Does participated in several group-exhibitions in Jakarta (Batavia), Medan, Bandung and Surabaya between 1918 and 1938. Together with the painter Gerard Pieter Adolfs he formed the impressionist movement in the former Dutch East-Indies. Van der Does his work had been presented to King Leopold III of Belgium and Queen Astrid of Sweden, and on the occasion of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands her 50th birthday, the former Dutch East Indies presented a work by Van der Does to the Queen as an official gift from the government. Many of his works were also given to various government officials and other essential persons by the former Dutch East-Indies government at the time. This owed him the title ‘The Royal Painter from the Indies’. After the war, in 1946 he returned to the Netherlands, where he settled, first in Schiedam and later retired to Zeist, where he died in 1966. He was a painter, illustrator and draughtsman of harbour scenes, city views and landscapes in an authentic impressionistic style.