Ruijsbroek, Willem

Background: unknown
Profession/occupation: electrician, sailor and gardener.
Art form/medium: naive painting in oils on wood.
Start artwork: during his illness, the last two years of his life.
Relevant info: his themes: ancient Dutch towns, harbours
References: References: Jakovsky, Anatole; Peintres naifs. Lexicon of the World’s primitive Painters, Basel 1967, p.525 en Gal Hamer;
Van der Endt, Nico; Lexicon Nederlandse naïeve kunst van de twintigste eeuw / Lexicon of twentieth century Dutch naïve art, Venlo/Antwerpen, 1995, pp. 104-105.

There is not much known about this painter. According to Jakovsky he led a nomadic life and had many jobs, such as electrician and sailor. From 1947 he lived in France, after having wandered across the globe, probably as a sailor. He apparently worked as a gardener at the Menton hospital, where he would die of tuberculosis in 1961. We don’t know whether the patient was allowed to work as a gardener or whether he had been appointed as a paid workman from outside. A doctor is said to have taught him the basic principles of painting. He only painted during his last two years. His works deals with memories of the Netherlands, colored by time and his imagination. We see canals, locks and sluices, ships and boats, Dutch houses, windmills and flowers. Red, white and blue are his favourite colours. From: Van der Endt.

Willem Cornelis Ruijsbroek
1911 Delft, The Netherlands - 1961 Menton, France