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The Story of a Painting by August W. van Voorden (1881-1921)

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Boating on the river Maas, Rotterdam, across from the Park
  August Willem van Voorden was a student of the Rotterdam Academy of Expressive Arts. He was born at Rotterdam on November 25, 1881. All of his life he lived and worked at Rotterdam (except for one year at Loosdrecht 1912/1913). He died at Rotterdam on October 2, 1921.

Because of his subjects, and his powerful touch, he is often referred to as the Breitner of Rotterdam. Ch.N.E. de Moor was one of his students. August W. van Voorden is considered to be one of the leading Dutch Impressionists.

From his father, who was a house painter, he learnt the basic knowledge on dying and paint bindings. During his studies at the Rotterdam Academy of Expressive Arts (with A.H.R. van Maasdijk) in the evenings (until 1900) he worked as a decorator during the day. He also studied with Jan de Jong, member of Arti et Amicitiae at Amsterdam.

From 1905 and onwards he became more reknown and when he won a bronze medal at an international exhibition in Barcelona in 1908 his name was definitively established. That same year, 1908, he met the 20-years old Geertje van den Broeck, who was to become his wife, during a short stay in the painters' village of Kortenhoef. They got married in 1909. The couple settled in Rotterdam and they had two children. In 1912 he was awarded a silver medal at Amsterdam and invited to join the Arti et Amicitiae there. He had his studio on the grounds of the former Woudenstein estate at Rotterdam on grounds that later became sporting fields, such as for the Rotterdam FC Excelsior.

Works of Van Voorden can be found in museums such as the Museum Boymans van Beuningen at Rotterdam. He made oil paintings, aquarelles and drawings, often views of the harbour, the city, works such as pilings, because during his years Rotterdam as growing enormously, and life in the streets of Rotterdam: with housemaids, horse drivers, and cart horses. He also made portraits, nudes, and still lifes amongst which several with flowers. His landscapes have often been paitied at the area of Kortenhoef. In his paintings of the city the bright colours of the subject contrast very well with the at times heavy skies in Holland.
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Figures on a Rotterdam Quay
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The Oostplein with Mill De Noord