Louis Soonius (1883-1956)
Dutch countryside with cows
Oil on panel on canvas
27 x 38 cm
Frame: 35 x 46,5 cm
In good condition
Lodewijk (Louis) Soonius (1883-1956) is a Dutch draughtsman and painter who gained recognition primarily for his beach scenes featuring playing children and donkeys. Lodewijk Soonius and his twin sister, Margaretha, were born in 1883. Soonius grew up in a Roman Catholic family in The Hague. His father, Wilhelmus Johannes Soonius, was a vegetable grower, and his mother, Maria Amerentia Hartwig, dedicated herself full-time to caring for the children.
His earliest drawings date back to 1900 when he was not yet 17 years old. In these drawings, he captured the changing cityscape of The Hague. In that same year, he began working as a painter at the Rozenburg Pottery. The time books bear witness to his eagerness to draw, filled with sketches of scenery and interesting figures. At Rozenburg, Soonius met Chris Beekman, with whom he formed a friendship. Around 1905, he began his studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, where he became acquainted with the Frisian artist Ids Wiersma. In 1913, Soonius won the Royal Grant for Fine Painting, now known as the Royal Award for Modern Painting. This grant allowed Soonius to fully dedicate himself to painting, as evidenced by his resignation from Rozenburg. Together with Chris Beekman and Aris Knikker, they rented a studio on Noorderbeekdwarsstraat. However, their collaboration was short-lived due to a heated argument, the cause of which remains unknown, which resulted in a falling-out between Soonius and Beekman.
After World War I, Soonius joined the Haagsche Schetsclub, where he primarily exhibited nudes. This increased his recognition and brought him into contact with various art dealers who promoted his work, such as Kunsthandel Kreijns & Zoon's at Delftschevaart 40.
In the late 1920s, Soonius faced financial difficulties, leading him to seek additional income by creating illustrations for novels published by J.N. Voorhoeve. However, the 1930s proved to be very fruitful for him. Soonius held several exhibitions, including ones at Kunsthandel Sena and Huize Koninginnegracht 77. In 1933, his childhood drawings of The Hague were acquired by the Monumentenzorg Association, and in 1939, Soonius painted the portrait of Queen Wilhelmina for the Bataafse Petroleum Maatschappij, which received extensive coverage in national and regional newspapers. Just before the outbreak of World War II, Soonius's work was featured in the exhibition "Onze kunst van het heden" (Our Contemporary Art) at the Rijksmuseum. In the 1950s, Soonius continued to paint steadily until his passing in 1956.
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