Hendrik Jan Wolter, who was born in Amsterdam, became known for his luministic paintings. Initially, his father would rather see him pursue a career in the army, but his mother, a French woman, was not enthusiastic about this. With her support, the young Wolter enrolled in 1895 as a student at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. He was taught by the Belgian artists Albrecht de Vriendt, Pierre van Havermaet and Frans van Leemputten.
Like so many painters who receive their training at such an institution, Hendrik Jan Wolter began his career with narrative paintings in a realistic style. His style changes under the influence of the French impressionists such as Claude Monet and Camille Pisarro. He develops a pronounced light color palette in neo-impressionist, luminist style. The light and in particular the sunlight plays an important role in his work. From that period on, he prefers to paint harbor views with which he acquired a great deal of fame.
Wolter traveled extensively throughout his life. These study trips abroad (particularly to Spain, France, Italy and England) were an enormous source of inspiration. He painted idyllic harbor views in bright pastel shades on the English coast of Cornwall. Also in Italy it is the coast that attracts him. He likes to paint on the Italian Riviera di Levante, south of Genoa. He becomes so attached to Italy that in 1939 he decides to live in Rome. That Italian adventure is disrupted by the start of the Second World War. Wolter returns to the Netherlands and due to his declining health and the war he does not paint as much during his final years.
Various names on verso: Bernheim Jeune, afz W.A. Knip Torenlaan 57, Blaricum;
H v Blauwhoed, Rotterdam; att Hr van Someren.
W.A. Knip, Blaricum, 1930’s;
H. van Blauwhoed, Rotterdam;
Dhr. Van Someren;
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, 1958;
with Gebr. Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam;
sold to a private Dutch collector in the 1950s;
thence by descent to the children and grand-children.
– Paris, Bernheim-Jeune-Dauberville, ‘Wolter 1873-1952, le maître Hollandais’, February-March 1959, cat.no. 21.