1806 - 1880
Willem Bodeman was born in Amsterdam on 13th January, 1806. There is little recorded about this artist's early life or his first lessons in painting but he was born at the beginning of a wonderful period of revival in Dutch painting. The French had left the Netherlands in 1815 and a new pride in all things Dutch enabled the new Romantic School of painting to flourish. The most famous of these artists were Schelfhout and B.C. Koekkoek who looked back at the great Dutch 17th century masters for inspiration and then interpreted their genre in a new and inspiring way. Dutch landscape painting flourished and these paintings were in demand from the wealthy middle classes living in the cities.
Bodeman must have shown exceptional talent as a young artist as he was able to accompany B.C. Koekkoek on a travelling expedition through Belgium and Germany between 1827 and 1830. During these years he watched Koekkoek at work and the master's influence upon him was great.
In 1847 Bodeman travelled to England. He exhibited two paintings at the Royal Academy and one at the British Institute, giving his address as 14 Howland Street. It is not known how long Bodeman remained in London but it is likely that he returned to Holland fairly shortly after the exhibitions. His work was well thought of in the Netherlands and some of his work was engraved by H.J. Verboeckhoven.
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