W.B. (WILLEM) THOLEN
1860 Amsterdam - 1931 Den Haag
Willem Bastiaan Tholen grew up in Kampen and learned the art of painting at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, which he left early, and with painter Paul Gabriel in Brussels. In 1890, he settled permanently in The Hague in the Kanaalvilla, which allowed him to spend a lot of time in circles of the Hague School to which his teacher and his contemporary friend Willem Witsen also belonged. He became a member of Pulchri. Despite this, Tholen would always follow his own path in his choice of style and subjects. On Paul Gabriel's advice, Tholen also chose subjects like houses, canals and the bustle of the then still pristine village of Giethoorn. "The now unimaginable exclusivity of such scenes became a kind of trademark with which the painter distinguished himself from colleagues who limited themselves to a comfortable ride on the steam streetcar to places like Laren." writes journalist Bram de Klerk (NRC 2-2-2020) following the exhibition on Willem Tholen at Dordrechts Museum. Tholen would travel through large parts of the Netherlands capturing the landscape. Often from a different perspective than his contemporaries in an unmistakeably individual atmosphere and style. During his lifetime, his work was already sought after on the international exhibition circuit and by collectors as far as Canada.