Mijnheer Haverstok by Henri van de Velde

Henri van de Velde was a Dutch painter, illustrator and graphic artist. He was a member of artists societies like St. Lucas and Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam in the period before World War II, but was mostly forgotten after the liberation, largely due to his affiliation with the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands. He is known for having illustrated the advertising comic 'Het avontuur van Haverstok met den koffer van Verweegen en Kok' in 1917.

Hendrik van de Velde was born in Amsterdam in 1896. He has studied arts in Munich, Paris and Florence, and was an apprentice of the Dutch painter H.M. Krabbé. During his lifetime, he has subsequently lived and worked in Amsterdam, Laren, Blaricum, then Amsterdam again, Vreeland and Abcoude. In 1917 he was the artist of the advertising booklet 'Het avontuur van Haverstok met den koffer van Verweegen en Kok', in commission of suitcase supplier Verweegen en Kok in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. The book features a comic strip about a war correspondent who heads for the battlefields. His subsequent adventures in the war zone are testimonials of the durability of his suitcase, which was of course supplied by the company concerned. The texts were in rhyme and written by J. Siedenburg, a writer from Blaricum. The booklet wasn't the first appearance of mister Haverstok, however. The character made its debut in a similar booklet created by Ko Doncker in 1912.

Mijnheer Haverstok by Henri van de Velde

In 1927 Van de Velde illustrated the book 'De Zoon van den Hongaar' by L. Dorsman, which was published by A.D. Schoonderbeek in Laren. Van de Velde eventually focused on painting. He started out as mainly an animal painter, but he eventually gravitated towards symbolism. His paintings often featured Biblical and mythological figures. The artist was strongly opposed against modernism and futurism and an avid supporter of the actions against "Degenerate art" in Nazi Germany. He became a member of the Dutch national-socialist party NSB, and gained notoriety for his paintings 'De Nieuwe Mensch' (1939) and 'Engel der Gerechtigheid' (1942), which propagated national-socialist ideas. Especially 'De Nieuwe Mensch' was often used for propaganda purposes during the war. The original hung on the wall of NSB leader Anton Mussert's office in Utrecht, and is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam since 2007. The museum however chose not to show the controversial work in its permanent exhibition.

After the liberation, Van de Velde was arrested and imprisoned in Kamp Amersfoort. He was conditionally released in 1946, which was converted into a definitive release in 1948. Although he continued to paint after the war, Henri van de Velde was largely ignored by the art world and forgotten by the general public. He passed away in Abcoude in 1969, at the age of 73. Henri van de Velde should not be confused with the Flemish painter Henry Van de Velde (1863-1957).


Self-portrait (1931)

Henri van de Velde in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Henri van de Velde in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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