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First Name Peter
Last Name Van Berkel
Born 1956-01-01
Country Netherlands
In 1956, Peter van Berkel was born in Rotterdam. With three brothers and one sister, circumstances were not very easy for his mother, Cornelia van Berkel. At the age of four, he went to live with his oldest brother, Jan Hovener, as his mother was hospitalized. Jan was 24 at the time and was a good painter. At an early age, Peter van Berkel began to learn about painting from his brother. When Peter was twelve, he painted his first oil painting, together with Jan, who lived in the neighborhood of Krabbendijke, a picturesque village in Zeeland.

After attending several educational institutions, including a catering school, Peter van Berkel was faced with a decision of whether to pursue a career in painting in Utrecht or a career with the Delftware Factory. He chose the career in painting and traveled with his brother through Yugoslavia.

While living in Wemeldinge, in Zeeland, van Berkel met several well-known artisits including Lodwijk Bruckman, Frans van der Heide, Henny de Korte, and Rein Sievers. Peter began to spend time with Frans van der Heide, and even traveled to Spain with him. Rein Sievers, who was a close friend of Jan Honener, supported and advised van Berkel.

In 1976, Peter van Berkel and Elly are married and two years later their first child is born, a boy whom they call Cheyenne. Peter is working in Yerseke and he enjoys the beauty of mussel fishing, oyster ponds and little, old harbours. Before long he takes his easle to the harbour and starts painting the old fishing boats and mussel-processing factories. After a year he has enough paintings for his very first exhibition in December 1979 in the old city hall of Goes. The exhibition is a great success and the favorable reviews give him the inspiration to continue his painting despite his financial strains. Gradually the dark colors in his Yerseke paintings give way to lighter tones. His preference for the colors of the Hague School is pushed into the background when on a visit to Paris he sees Monet’s waterlillies as well as other works of art by the French Impressionists. Peter van Berkel decides to travel around France to capture the impressions that inspired the French masters. Travelling, he notices that a French landscape painting turns out to be lighter in color than a Dutch one.

When Peter van Berkel is asked to paint a portrait , he has to overcome a lot of difficulties. Even so, he likes portrait painting and he does a lot of studies and portraits of his wife, his children, and his friends. By that time, Peter has been a painter for nearly 15 years and he has tried his hand at all kinds of subjects. He can paint whatever his eyes see: animals, people, scenic beauty, ships or water. The public loves his landscapes most of all, even people in the United States know him. Before long many of his paintings find their way to the United States and Japan. In 1986, Peter van Berkel and his family travel around in his brother Jan’s roomy camper. They enjoy the feeling of being free again so much that in that same summer Peter buys an old Mercedes van and converts it into a camper. The family’s first destination is Portugal. Peter is anxious to see the lovely seaside, the sandy beached stretching for miles and the rugged countryside where one still can feel at one with nature. He likes the kind Portuguese and he is delighted to see the fishermen draw their nets from the sea by hand or with the help of oxen. He enjoys the sun, the good food and the wine. No wonder that at times he finds it hard to take up his palette.
In 1956, Peter van Berkel was born in Rotterdam. With three brothers and one sister, circumstances were not very easy for his mother, Cornelia van Berkel. At the age of four, he ...
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