'A Day in the Life of an Amsterdam police officer', published in the illustrated Sunday supplement of the newspaper De Echo of 25 December 1897 (Source: Amsterdam City Archives).

Pieter van Looy, Jr. (also written als Pieter van Looij) was a Dutch drawing teacher and illustrator. Active during the late 19th and early 20th century, he was known for his street scene illustrations of his hometown Haarlem and his sequential picture stories in newspapers like De Echo.

Early life and education
Pieter van Looy, Jr. was born in 1853 in Haarlem. Between 1867 and 1869, he attended the National Academy of Fine Arts ("Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten") in Amsterdam, where one of his teachers was his father, Pieter van Looy, Sr. (1823-1885). He later continued his art education at the National Normal School ("Rijksnormaalschool"), also in Amsterdam, where he got his drawing teacher's degree.


Pieter van Looy's book on calligraphy, published by Scheltema & Holkema's Boekhandel in Amsterdam in 1885.

Drawing teacher
On 1 September 1884, Van Looy opened his own school for drawing and painting, located in the Zijlvest 39 in his hometown Haarlem. Besides offering courses in painting, calligraphy and lithography, he also trained young people to get their certificate as a drawing teacher in the primary school system. In Haarlem, he hosted annual exhibitions of work by his students. Van Looy ran his school until he was offered a position at the Arts and Crafts School ("Kunstnijverheidsschool"), where he was a drawing teacher for the training course for head teachers. Van Looy also taught classes at the Evening School for Industrial Education ("Avondschool voor Nijverheidsonderwijs"), and was the author of guidebooks for calligraphy, drawing in perspective and drawing by heart.


Amsterdam street scenes, presumably from Eigen Haard magazine. Notice the different signatures.

Illustrator
Besides being a teacher, Pieter van Looy also worked as an illustrator. He made several drawings of Amsterdam and Haarlem street scenes - an activity not always without danger. On 31 October 1900, the local newspaper Haarlems Dagblad reported that Van Looy had been assaulted by the husband of a woman he had chosen as one of his subjects. The artist had to seek refuge with the police to prevent repetition. In 1890, he made ten illustrations for 'Een Kleine Garve - Schetsen en Novellen', a booklet with 16 short stories by the editor of Haarlems Dagblad, Jan Peereboom. It was published in Amsterdam by W. Versluys. In 1910, he illustrated the children's book 'Van Een Stouten Bengel' by Wilhelmine Besier, published by Nijgh & Van Ditmar in Rotterdam.


Ways of transportation by bike, possibly printed in newspaper De Echo (source: Amsterdam City Archives).

A member of the temperance society, Pieter van Looy also made several drawings warning for the dangers of alcohol. In the 1890s, Van Looy also made sequential cartoons for workers publications like the newspaper De Echo and the illustrated news weekly Eigen Haard. His drawings gave funny accounts of the upcoming usage of bicycles and a day in the life of an Amsterdam police officer. For his illustration work, Van Looy used two different signatures, both reading "P. van Looy". One was more loosely signed with both capitals and lower case letters, the other one had more firmly written capitals. This leaves open the possibility that were two artists called P. van Looy active, but considering the type of work and the time and place (Amsterdam and Haarlem around the 1890s), this seems unlikely.

Final years and death
Retired from his teaching activities since 1920, Pieter van Looy died in Haarlem on 26 August 1930. According to the Haarlems Dagblad of 29 August 1930, his memorial service was attended by several prominent members of the local society, including representatives of the Arts and Crafts School, the State Archives and the local Mennonite congregation, as well as the emeritus pastor of the Dutch Reformed Congregation of Bloemendaal.


Pieter van Looy in 1890 (source: noord-hollandsarchief.nl).

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