40. Henri Pieck
(Den Helder 1895 – The Hague 1972)
Fun on the rolerskatingring in the Paleis voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam
Signed and annotated Adam l.l.
Pastel and watercolour on paper, 70.1 x 59.4 cm
– Collection W. Hoopman, The Netherlands
– Private collection, The Netherlands
P. Arnoldussen, H. Olink, Twee broers, drie levens – Henri & Anton Pieck, Uitgeverij Bas Lubberhuizen, Amsterdam, 2008, page 68 (ill.)
Including the abovementioned book.
Henri Pieck, twin brother of Anton Pieck, also had a successful career as an artist. Henri always had a sketchbook at hand and was always drawing. At a young age, he was only seventeen, Pieck left for Amsterdam, where he moved into an appartment and studio on the Nieuwendijk. Henri liked to draw in bars, a habit he would maintain for the rest of his life. He often could be found sketching in one of the many honky-tonk bars and pubs around the Zeedijk en the Nes. The artist sketched pub interiors and made watercolours of working class women. Pieck recorded daily life, especially the fringes of society. He was attracted to the characteristic side of poor and cosmopolitan life, a life from which he himself had tasted extensively. Circa 1920 he was given a commission to create a series of paintings for the decoration of the interior of the Scala Theatre, this lot was one of the designs he made. This former variety theater in The Hague was the shining centre of the nightlife in The Hague. The mix of music, dance and comedy were a success with the larger audience, irrespective of social position. Due to the versatility and accesibility of the theatre it was to many a first encounter with the performing arts, leading to excitement, emotion and surprise amidst the works of Pieck in the theatre. The artist also drew the designs for posters, theatre sets and programs for theaters across the country.