163. Johan van Hell
Johan van Hell
(Amsterdam 1889 – 1952)
Signed and dated ’32 lower centre
Oil on canvas, 60.4 x 75.5 cm
Private collection, the Netherlands
Johan van Hell was a Dutch artist and musician. He was a dedicated socialist and a man with a highly developed social conscience. Many of his later works depict the struggles and plight of ‘the man in the street’. His art oeuvre is varied, ranging from oil paintings, watercolours, wood cuts and lithographs to political posters, ex-libris, magazine and book covers and illustrations. He also received regular commissions from the City of Amsterdam for monumental art.
His music was at least as important to him as his art. His instrument was the clarinet, but he also played the oboe. He regularly performed with Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, but refused a permanent position.