Rien Poortvliet's works and life
Rien Poortvliet 's Biography
"Rien" Marinus Harm Poortvliet (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrim ˈpoːrtflit]; 7 August 1932 – 15 September 1995) was a Dutch draughtsman and painter.
Born in Schiedam, he was best known for his drawings of animals and for "Gnomes" in the famous series of books provided with text by Wil Huygen and published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. of New York City.
Being a plasterer's son from Schiedam, making a living as an artist did not seem an option for Rien Poortvliet. His parents were strict Dutch Reformed and were opposed to the idea of their oldest son going to an art academy.
Rien's aptitude for drawing showed early on. After primary education the young Rien worked at an ad agency, where he could make some use of his talent. Rien Poortvliet began his artistic career as a graphics artist for magazines. Poortvliet spent two years in the Dutch navy and, as soon as he was old enough, he visited America. "What I learned about America, was that I wanted to go home." He also had talent for the advertising profession because after he had completed his draft time in the Navy he rose to senior manager at Lintas, Unilever's ad agency.
Rien Poortvliet illustrated children's books in his spare time, since the end of the 1950's. Since he also was a lover of nature and a passionate hunter, he also made illustrations for books about hunting. Rien took more pleasure in the work he did on the side for several publishers. He illustrated various books, among them works by Jaap ter Haar, Leonard Roggeveen and Godfried Bomans. He was also a passionate hunter, which led him to drawing various nature and hunting subjects written by one of his hunting buddies, Wil Huygen.
In 1968 his publisher suggested Rien became a full time illustrator, which he did. Unfortunately, there was not much work and in 1972 . Poortvliet was able to make a living as an independent illustrator. To supplement his income, Rien decided to publish the book himself. The book, titled "Hunting drawings", consisted purely of drawings and pastels and was about animal life and his beloved sport, hunting. The book sold well and in 1973 he published another one, …De Vossen Hebben Holen "The foxes have holes", also about wildlife. In this book his handwritten notes were published as well. Later on, he also made a similar work concerning the life of Jesus Christ.
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