Oosterbeek, The Netherlands: In Search of Brederoc
Brederoc: self portrait

Oosterbeek, The Netherlands: In Search of Brederoc

“What a find!”. Gisela  in het Veld was lost for words to express the amazement she felt when she first set eyes on the collection of some 800 paintings by Brederoc (pseudonym of Kees Breed mhm) stored in the attic of Missiehuis Vrijland. She had come at the invitation of Dutch Mill Hill Regional Martien van Leeuwen who, intrigued and fascinated himself, was eagerly looking for expert advice on the value of this special estate. The contact with the Dutch Master Painters turned out to be right on target.

“A real ‘barnfind’, she called it, when she and co-founder of Dutch Master Painters, Bert van Gerwen, came to present the Brederoc collection at Missiehuis Vrijland on Thursday 14 February.

A dozen or so visitors, including mayor Ms Agnes Schaap of Renkum, together with the residents of Vrijland and St Jozefhuis were treated to a passionate talk on this ‘hidden treasure in the field’, unloved and unknown by many.

“Dutch Master Painters aims to map art collections and present them to the public. We represent top artists but also lesser known entities. This is the first time we have mapped a collection of an artist who is no longer alive. Our principal criterion, which determines our acceptance of an assignment, is the ‘WOW factor’. It must be art work born out of passion, from an inspiration that springs from the heart “.

“And that’s what we found in Kees Breed a.k.a. Brederoc!”

Kees Breed, missionary, writer, philosopher, painter.

“A keyword that matches his life’s work is: ‘Power’. Painting with the soul. That’s what he did! ”

On the basis of carefully selected pieces from Brederoc’s work, Gisela and Bert show the development in style, colour palette and freedom of expression in this exceptional oeuvre using a  Powerpoint Presentation.

Self-portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits – Brederoc searched for innovation in each of the genres in which he expressed himself. Clearly influenced by the Bergen School of Art, he developed a very personal expressionist style with a preference for dark tones. His work evolved from realism to ever greater abstraction. He was clearly always looking for innovation. Rembrandt (portraits), Vermeer (still lifes) and Monet (landscapes) were an inspiration. He knew how to look around, observe, see.

As artist Theo van Doesburg put it: “If Rembrandt had lived long enough he would have become a Mondriaan”.

The social interest and compassion that sustains his written work – the magazine ‘Impact’ and his book ‘Seeking a new civilization’ – can also be found in his paintings. Many of his portraits portray people on the margins.

What do you do with such a hidden treasure?

The Dutch Master Painters have breathtakingly ambitious plans: a catalogue with beautiful reproductions, an exhibition of a selection of about 175 paintings, a website, a short video trailer as an appetiser, lectures, columns, and an annual mission calendar with first and foremost works by Brederoc and then also photos and other documents to put the work of the Mill Hill Missionaries on the map. And to top it all: a TV documentary!

“We used to have a ‘promotion team’ to propagate our missionary ideal,” Martien van Leeuwen quipped thanking Gisela for her fascinating talk. “Now we have the Dutch Master Painters – promotion team.2 ”

With a posthumous salute to a long hidden passionate artist.

Fons Eppink mhm

View Brederoc Artworks on Flickr

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