The Patron and the ‘House Painter’

From 14 October 2017 till 13 May 2018 the Kröller-Müller Museum will be home to the exhibition: The Patron and the ‘House Painter’. For the first time the story of the relationship between Helene Kröller-Müller and Bart van der Leck will be told.

Helene Kröller-Müller’s favourite artist

Bart van der Leck was one of Helene’s favourite artists. Because she had a long-term agreement with Van der Leck, to be the first one to be able to purchase his work, she had gathered an impressive collection. The exhibition will present 42 paintings and about 400 drawings of Van der Leck’s.

Helene Kröller-Müller also said that she thought he was ‘an even more versatile and more powerful artist than Mondriaan’.

On the 22th of February 1914, Bart van der Leck goes to the family business Wm. H. Müller & Co in the Hague on invititation by Helene. He was given an important mission. He travelled to the company’s mines in Spain and Algeria, to gain inspiration for a sizeable stained-glass window. This trip was the beginning of a long collaboration. Helene becomes his patron, giving out commissions, and even hires him for a few years. Besides the stained-glass window, he also made posters for the ‘Batavierlijn’, mosaics for offices in London, and designs for interiors.

The collection

She started collecting his work and followed his development. Van der Leck acknowledged the support, but also loved his independence. After meeting Piet Mondriaan, he changed his style significantly. This puts strain on the relationship between him and Helene. She tried to understand his shift, but it was a challenge for her to understand his new ‘line art’.

A recent study also showed new insight in their correspondence, which puts their inspiring but also thrilling relationship in another light. For example, Bart van der Leck send Helene ‘’the commissions remain a joy..’. Helene said: ‘These days The Cat is hanging in my bathroom’. Van der Leck also said: ‘I have no interest at all in going on being some kind of house painter’.

Purchase your ticket, and take your chance to look at this beautiful exhibition at The Kröller-Müller Museum at De Hoge Veluwe National Park.




Museum informatie

The Kröller-Müller Museum
Houtkampweg 16
6731 AW

+31 (0)318 591 241
[email protected]


Maandag Gesloten


Children 6 to 12 years€10.00
Children up to 6 years Gratis

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