Rien Poortvliet

Painting, Visual Artist

1932 – 1995


Who was Rien Poortvliet?

Rien Poortvliet was a Dutch draughtsman and painter.

Born in Schiedam, he was best known for his drawings of animals and for "Gnomes" in the famous series of books provided with text by Wil Huygen and published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. of New York City.

Being a plasterer's son from Schiedam, making a living as an artist did not seem an option for Rien Poortvliet. His parents were strict Dutch Reformed and were opposed to the idea of their oldest son going to an art academy.

Rien's aptitude for drawing showed early on. After primary education the young Rien worked at an ad agency, where he could make some use of his talent. He also had talent for the advertising profession because after he had completed his draft time in the Navy he rose to senior manager at Lintas, Unilever's ad agency.

Rien took more pleasure in the work he did on the side for several publishers. He illustrated various books, among them works by Jaap ter Haar, Leonard Roggeveen and Godfried Bomans. He was also a passionate hunter, which led him to drawing various nature subjects.

By the end of the 1960s, Poortvliet was able to make a living as an independent illustrator.

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Aug 7, 1932
  • Netherlands
Lived in
  • Schiedam
Sep 15, 1995

on July 23, 2013


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