Ben Viegers

Netherlands / 1886 - 1947 /
"Ben Viegers was born on 17 december 1886 in The Hague and died 8 october 1947 in Nunspeet. He was an auto-didact; there is no evidence that he ever registered for an official education/academy to develop his artistic talents. In the first years he was coached and guided by his friend Charles (Carel Bernardus) Dankmeijer (1861-1923). As a starting professional painter, Viegers had a contract with the Haagse art-gallery Koch that ensured him a guaranteed monthly income. A lot of his early work was mainly bought by tourists and visitor from the USA.
In 1938 Ben Viegers and his wife Josina Maria (Jo) Jacobs moved to Nunspeet [dutch village] where they live in a old badly maintained house that Viegers himself remodeled. When World War II began Viegers believed he would be safer behind the “Dutch Waterlinie” and moved to Castricum/Bakkum and later Hilversum. In 1943 he returned to Nunspeet to live once again in an old (badly maintained) house. He was mainly inspired by the Veluwe, aDutch region with forests and farmland,and the villages around the Zuiderzee, an inland-sea now closed of to create new land and now known as the IJsselmeer.

As a real “pleinairist” he travelled a lot to paint outside, at first by bike and train, later on a Harley Davidson (3-seat), and the last year in a DKW [European make car]. With a happy and bright palet, Viegers painted city-scapes, landscapes and farm-yards on canvas, wood or board. Viegers made only one trip abroad together with his friend Henk van Leeuwen and Jaap Hiddink, to Brittanny and Normandy (Concarneau).

While rebuilding his house in 1947, Viegers tried to lift a heavy window-frame, had a heart-attack and died shortly after."
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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