Henk Helmantel is a contemporary Dutch painter best known for his classically composed still life paintings. His works reside within the traditions of 17th century Dutch painters, such as Willem Claesz Heda, while maintaining a modern palette and sparse clarity. Born on February 22, 1945 in Westeremden, the Netherlands to a religious Protestant family, Helmantel went on to study painting at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. He has become a somewhat controversial figure in his home country for his open discussions of his financial success, strong spiritual beliefs, and criticism of other religions. The artist also started his own museum, aptly named the Museum Helmantel, in Westeremden. Aside from his own institution, Helmantel’s works can also be found in the Rembrandt house in Amsterdam, the Art... (

"The compostion is what it’s all about. It transcends the image. Harmony in the work is important, you feel it when it’s right, you see that it isn’t possible in any other way."

...Helmantel's work is influenced by 17th century pictorial art, especially by Rembrandt and Vermeer concerning light treatment. Also important artists from later on like Floris Verster, Dick Ket and Mondriaan have been significant for his work....

The objects in the still life are mostly old, used and sometimes even worn out. Despite the battered look of the object, the still life shows an image of beauty, peace and balance. Coming from his religion the perception of beauty is important. Helmantel asks for attention and respect for the simple things that were also God's creation. By painting objects with much care, Helmantel elevates them above the commonplace.

The perception of beauty on which Helmantel's still lifes focus is also captured in his interiors of Gothic an Romanic churches. These spaces show modesty and serenity. Delicate use of color brings the architecture to life...(
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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