Exhibition Willem Dolphyn : The Pursuit of Perfection

  • March 11, 2022

Willem Dolphyn: The Pursuit of Perfection

Monday 14th March – Friday 25th March
10am – 6pm Monday to Friday
11am – 4pm Saturdays

Gladwell & Patterson, 5 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NG


Gladwell & Patterson, London’s oldest art gallery, presents a retrospective exhibition of paintings by Willem Dolphyn (1935-2016), one of Belgium’s leading still-life artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The exhibition brings together a collection of works from throughout Willem’s artistic career, memorialising this great painter. 

In extending and reviving the Netherlandish tradition through his work, Willem opens a dialogue with his country’s artistic past that few others have managed to create.  A consummate collector, his paintings catalogue multiple lives worth of treasures, every canvas filled with exquisitely chosen artefacts from around the world. Inspired by the objects in his studio, which included historic furniture, fabrics, glassware, ceramics,… spanning several centuries, the ideas for his compositions usually came to Willem during the night, bringing all the elements together in his mind.

His efforts were widely recognised by his contemporaries, with a planned documentary about Dolphyn even giving him the title of ‘De Laatste Bourgondier’ (the last Burgundian), an explicit acknowledgement of his place within this great painting tradition.

Willem would create nearly 2500 paintings over half a century, a monumental achievement for a single artist. In 2008, he started a mammoth task that was a childhood dream of his : a major painting of the skyline of Antwerp. A year and four months later, this incredible undertaking was completed and a beautifully executed painting measuring 1.8m high by 5m wide was presented to the World. Featuring Antwerp from the left bank of the Schelde river, it is only the fourth painting of this size and magnitude that has been painted since the 16th century. Initially the painting was on display at the prestigious KBS bank building and more recently it has found a home in the magnificent entranceway to the Price Waterhouse Coopers building in Antwerp