Louise Alice Andrine (Wiesje) van Blommestein
(Paris 1882-1965 Arlesheim, Switzerland)
A standing nude surrounded by white lilies
oil on canvas 160.7 x 80.3 cm, signed lower left and dated 1907. Provenance: Dutch private collection; art dealer Simonis & Buunk, Ede; annotation verso on sticker: ‘Gebouw der Loge, Fluweelen Burgwal, Den Haag’ (The former, from 1847 to 1993, Masonic Hall in The Hague)
Louise van Blommestein learned to paint in the studio of E. Blanc-Garin in Brussels. Then she studied at the academy in Florence in 1898-1899. After discovering theosophy, she took lessons from 1910 with the symbolist painter Jean Delville in Brussels. Later she received advice from renowned art critic and art dealer H.P. Bremmer. She was also friends with the famous Dutch painter Jan Toorop, with whom she corresponded (as early as 1903) and who had a visible influence on her work. Jan Toorop portrayed Wiesje van Blommestein in 1918-1920. The painter lived and worked with long interruptions between 1902 and 1920 in Blaricum, The Hague, Hilversum and Laren. Then she settled in Switzerland. Influenced by anthroposophy and symbolism, she painted flowers, still lifes, children’s portraits, religious scenes and mystical and imaginary subjects.