1922 - 2014
Further Biographical Context for Gerrit Coljé
Born in 1922, Gerrit Coljé grew up during the 1930s and was inspired by the artistic atmosphere of the time. The period of the 1930s is epitomised by the conflict between many political ideologies, including Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government required urgent funds to implement the rapid industrialisation demanded by the first Five Year Plan. It initiated a secret plan to sell off treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), including a primary list of two hundred and fifty irreplaceable paintings by the Old Masters, a number of which found their way to the collection of Andrew Mellon via the New York based art dealing company, Knoedler.