Willem Breddels was born in Leiden, the Netherlands in 1938, and his early years coincided with the Second World War. His mother died during the war when he was five years old. Keeping with the spirit of the postwar reconstruction, Willem trained as a technician and went to work as a precision engineer. At the age of 18 he bought his first oil paint and started painting. For years he did this as a hobby, but when he was 26 left his job to become an independent artist. Breddels found inspiration in the emerging Dutch literary movement â€œDe Vijftigersâ€, and was especially attracted to their predilection for novelty, for following one's own insight. Just like the â€œVijftigersâ€ Breddels rebelled the prevailing fashion of the times, and started studying the old Dutch and French masters in order to gain a mastery of their techniques. All this had resulted in a very personal and unique style of painting for Breddels. It is expressed in a pictorial language of a poetic nature, based on traditional craftsmanship. His monumental work and portraiture have a light and contemporary tone.
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