From: 'Singing Pictures', 1939

Cees Bantzinger was a Dutch painter, illustrator and comic artist. He was born in Gouda, and attended art school in Amsterdam, where he developed an interest in drawing live models. He subsequently attended the Royal Academy of Visual Arts, and spent some time in the Montparnasse area of Paris. He traveled through Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, where he picked up influences from the Bauhaus movement. In the meantime he had begun his career as an illustrator with De Groene Amsterdammer in 1936. He became one of the country's best known illustrators for daily and weekly magazines, together with Eppo Doeve and Jo Spier.

Bantzinger worked for the underground press during World War II, together with Bert Bakker and Fokke Tamminga. They formed the Mansarde press, that also attracted writers like Bertus Aafjes, Ab Visser and Ferdinand Borderwijk. Bantzinger also made a comic strip called 'Knobbel' for magazine De Narrenkap during this period.

Knobbel by Cees Bantzinger

After the War, Bantzinger became known for his portraits of actors and actresses in theaters. His fine art also often featured Chinese people and women. He made illustrations for publications like Elseviers Weekblad, Vrij Nederland, Mandril and Het Vrije Volk. Bantzinger was an avid travler, and made many journeys in Greece, Portugal and France, where he made drawings of locals and court scenes.

His wife was Dutch singer Jetty Pearl, who had been one of the voices of Radio Oranje during the War. In the 1980s it became known through research by Adriaan Venema that Bantzinger had been a member of the NSB, and that he had made portraits of German officers. Despite his later work for the resistance, Bantzinger felt so ashamed of this fact that he drowned himself in the river Amstel shortly afterwards.

Knobbel, 1940

Series and books by Cees Bantzinger you can order today:


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