Full History of Douwes Fine Art
The Douwes tradition began with a restoration workshop already in the 1760’s! The second half of the 18th century saw the emergence of a rather fashionable Amsterdam and the Douwes forebears tried to meet the desire of those who wanted the beautiful ceilings of their imposing canal houses painted and restored.
To this day the firm remains in the same family and has been passed on from father to son for many generations. The present owners of Douwes Fine Art are in effect the seventh and eighth generation. However, according to the official regulations of the St.Lucas guild, abolished shortly after 1808, they prefer to start counting from their entry as an independently registered business on September 5th, 1805. Now in its sixth generation of art dealing and restoring since then, this prestigious art gallery is the oldest of its kind in The Netherlands, and in Europe.
Whoever speaks to Evert Douwes Sr. and Jr. about two hundred years of Douwes Fine Art is impressed by their passion for art and by their knowledge. Two ingredients that have been providing a rich and wide-ranging life for generations. Wide-ranging, because Douwes is so much more than painting. There is and was calligraphy, topography, writing about history, documenting, restoring, and…. the selling of works of art. But Europe’s oldest family art gallery cannot be resting on its laurels. On the contrary, the art market of 2005 is complicated, and has been changing too much.
For a fully illustrated history read here
The art dealer's patron Saint Luke
(Antwerp School, circa 1540)
Douwes IV at Christie's London in 1928!