About the artist

Dirk Jan Koets was born in 1895 in Wissenkerke on Noord-Beveland. In 1905 his parents moved to Gouda. Koets trained there as a pottery painter. In September 1912, the young Koets left for the United States. He stayed there with family in Sparta, Michigan. Because he was called up for military service due to the outbreak of the First World War and the general mobilization that followed, he... Read more

Dirk Jan Koets was born in 1895 in Wissenkerke on Noord-Beveland. In 1905 his parents moved to Gouda. Koets trained there as a pottery painter. In September 1912, the young Koets left for the United States. He stayed there with family in Sparta, Michigan. Because he was called up for military service due to the outbreak of the First World War and the general mobilization that followed, he returned to the Netherlands in September 1915.

After the end of the First World War and the demobilization in October 1919, Koets started his artistic career and left for Amsterdam and Edam/Volendam, where he met A.J. (Alfons) van Dijck (1894-1979). At the beginning of December 1919 they leave for Veere together. Koets enjoys the hospitality of patron and art collector Albert Ochs. He briefly returned to his father in Goude, but settled permanently in Veere in 1921.

As a painter, Koets became known as a painter of horses, portraits and still lifes. In addition, he also captured facets of the Zeeland landscape, farm life and the Veerse fishing port with its sailing high boots in and out. His paintings are colorful and expressive. In Veere he was affectionately nicknamed the 'Veerse Van Gogh'. His work initially shows a relationship with that of Lucie van Dam van Isselt, who sheltered Koets and his wife for some time in the early 1920s. It would take until the mid-1920s before he found his own handwriting, the so-called 'Carriage Key': powerful, directly on the canvas and accurate, always painted on the spot. Often in an impressionistic style, pasty and colorful, with occasional expressionistic features.

In 1954 he painted his last portrait, a commission from an admirer from Veere. He died on March 11, 1956, lonely and destitute in his Veerse cottage In d'Olijmolen and was buried a few days later in the cemetery of Zanddijk.

As a belated posthumous tribute, a modest last official exhibition was devoted to his work in 1960 in Kortgene, Noord-Beveland. In the summer of 2005, a major oeuvre exhibition about his life and work was held in the Veerse Museum De Scottish Houses. In 2007 work by Koets was shown in Kats.

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