Willem RoelofsDutch Painter, 1822-1897
Dutch painter. He is said to have made his first sketches at the age of four; at fifteen he completed his first landscape painting. Many of these early works are in the print rooms of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. In c. 1837-8 he was apprenticed to the amateur painter Abraham Hendrik de Winter (1800-61) in Utrecht, where the Roelofs family had moved in 1826. In 1838 he entered his first paintings in the Exhibition of Living Masters in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In the late summer of 1840 Roelofs became a pupil of the landscape and animal painter Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuyzen (1795-1860), with whom he made a study trip to Germany in 1841. Roelofs took a special interest in nature: he applied himself energetically both to painting and drawing, almost always selecting landscape subjects. He also studied entomology and accumulated a large collection of insects. After his training he returned to his parents in Utrecht.