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The RKD is collaborating with the Willem Witsen Foundation, Amsterdam University Library, the Huygens Institute, Digital Library of Dutch Literature and the National Library of the Netherlands on a project that will make available online all of Witsen’s correspondence together with relevant visual material. To achieve this the RKD is digitising, cataloguing and conserving a large collection of remarkable images relating to the artistic output of Willem Witsen and his circle. The conservation and digitisation project is subsidised by Metamorfoze, the programme for the preservation of the national collections of works on paper.

Willem Witsen, Self-portrait holding a cigar, 1892, daylight silver gelatin print, RKD

The painter, etcher and photographer Willem Arnold Witsen (1860-1923) left behind a diverse oeuvre. Witsen received his training at the National Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam, where he met painters such as Antoon Derkinderen, Willem Tholen, Jacobus van Looy, Jan Veth, Eduard Karsen and Jan Toorop. Later he met George Breitner and Isaac Israëls, who had attended the Academy in The Hague. Through his membership of the literary society ‘Flanor’ he also knew the writers Willem Kloos, Albert Verwey and Frederik van Eeden, who were among the founding editors of the literary periodical De Nieuwe Gids, first published in 1895.

Jeroen Kapelle MA
Afdeling Negentiende-eeuwse Nederlandse en Belgische Kunst
070-333 97 77

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