A new Vermeer/Van Meegeren revisited


4 colored-in collages

mounted on

museum board

+ text

(one work)

each mounted on

80 x 60 cm

Luuk Wilmering

     During the war years, my grandfather became friends with painter Han Van Meegeren. Contact between them arose after Van Meegeren bought the house Keizersgracht 321 in 1943, which was a stone's throw from my grandfather's company. I don't know exactly what that friendship looked like. All I know is that my grandfather had an easy time getting along with others, he was a rather flamboyant man.

     My grandfather owned a successful clothing company and he loved art. In September 1940 he moved the office and showroom to Keizersgracht 278. First under the name Küppers Rokken Industrie, later as Küppers Confection Industry.

     In his showroom he also showed art. There were varying paintings from Dutch Romanticism and the Hague School... but according to my mother, my grandfather also showed a painting by Van Meegeren at least once. My mother was firmly convinced that it was – as it turned out – a forgery by Vermeer. I don't know exactly which painting it was and I don't even know if it is all correct, but I have known this story since my early childhood. It came up again and again over the years when painting was discussed in one way or another, or the drawing of Van Meegeren's deer, which hung in my sisters' bedroom.

     After Van Meegeren's death in 1947, my grandfather is said to have bought several items from his studio, such as a work table that my uncle (sculptor) used in his studio for years.