Johannes Martinus Nelissen
Historical Context of Netherlands
The Netherlands has a strong heritage for art and design in the twentieth century culture, although its place as a cultural powerhouse had been long established, centuries before the fifteenth century, when artists like Jan van Eyck were amidst the most renowned in the world. The Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s brought such personalities as Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Van Ruisdael.
In the post-Impressionist era, the dutch Vincent Van Gogh is considered among one of the most important innovators, and is of course viewed as one of the greatest painters of all time, regardless of the era.
In the 20th century, some of the earliest examples of abstraction in the Netherlands were made under the aegis of the seminal de Stijl movement, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesberg. Gerrit Rietveld was a major architect and designer whose work is closely related to the ideas of De Stijl.
Willem de Kooning is also Dutch, although he emigrated to the United States at a young age and his work is most closely related to the New York City Abstract Expressionist era of the late 1940s and 1950s.