The present day art dealing and restoration firm ‘Douwes’ was established in 1770 and the gallery was registered in 1805: it is the oldest family-owned art business in the world.
Nowadays, the firm still belongs to the same family; it was passed on from father to son for many generations. The present owners of Douwes Fine Art are in effect the 8th and 9th generation. The Douwes tradition started with a restoration workshop as early as the 1770. Already in the fashionable Amsterdam of the second half of the 18th century, the Douwes forebears tried to meet the desire of those who wanted the beautiful ceilings of their imposing canal houses painted and restored. After decades of acumulating our skills in this trade, our forebear Hendrik Douwes (born 1784), officially registered the Douwes Fine Art Gallery in 1805 in Amsterdam, when Napoleon’s reign commanded registration.
During the first four generations our core expertise has been in Old Master paintings (primarily Dutch and Flemish) from the 15th through to the 19th century (then considered modern and contemporary art!). Since the 1950s