Pieter Van Mol
Londerzeel 1906-1988 Heidelberg (G)
Seated on the Bench in the Park
437 x 597 mm 17.2 x 23.5 in
signed, dated and inscribed lower left P.Van Mol / 341. 1974
exhibition labels on the back
Pieter Van Mol was born in Londerzeel the third of August. His talent for drawing and painting was noticed by the sea painter Romain Steppe (Antwerp 1859-1927), who familiarized him with the materials, gave him his first lessons in Sint-Amands a/d Schelde and advised him to enroll in art classes at the Art Academy in Mechelen. In the year of 1924-’25, Pieter Van Mol was granted the third prize for painting, under the guidance of Willem Rosier (Lanaken 1855 – Antwerp 1931). Accompanied by their teacher Gustave Van de Woestyne (Gent 1881 – Brussels 1947), the pupils Pieter Van Mol, Rik Brouwers (Mechelen 1904 – 1978) , Sander Wijnants, Nand Van Itterbeeck and Isidore Mariens made in 1927 a study tour te Florence. Pieter Van Mol took classes at the Brussels Art Academys of Sint-Joost-ten-Node (sculpture classes from Gustave Fontaine (Brussels 1877 – 1952)) and in Etterbeek (painting classes from Albert Phillipot (Couillet 1899 – Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe 1974)) until 1931. In the thirties he set up a fashion house, where he designed dresses and coats for a living. In 1935 Médard Maertens (Koolskamp 1875 – Brussels 1946) and Pieter Van Mol shared an atelier at the rue des Liègeois in Brussels.
In the forties and fifties he had contacts with a group of young artists, the so-called La route libre, the group which in time would generate La jeune peinture belge. He was on friendly terms with these groups, but always refused to join any of them. This way, he came into contact with artists like Gaston Bertrand (Wonk-op-de-Geer 1910 – Brussels 1994), Charles Leplae (Leuven 1903 – Brussels 1961), Anne Bonnet (Brussels 1908-1960), Jean Milo (Sint-Joost-ten-Node 1906 – Rixensart 1993), Louis Van Lint (St-Joost-ten-Node 1909 – Wezembeek 1987), Jan Vaerten (Turnhout 1909 – Beerse 1980) and Rik Slabbinck (Bruges 1914 - 1991). From 1951 until 1956 he shared his atelier with Jan Cox (The Hague 1919 – Antwerp 1980), until the latter decided to take a chair in Boston, because of a diversity of character differences.
In 1959 Van Mol went to Paris, where, after a few weeks, he was already employed by the Centre Culturele International de Royaumont. However, as he did not manage to feel comfortable there, he decided to move forth towards the South. He first settled in Arles and finally in Fontvieille, a little village at the bottom of the Alpilles, between Arles and Les baux. In the early years in Fontvieille, Van Mol had to make many sacrifices to be able to paint. His situation improved when the Musée Réattu in Arles bought a few of his paintings. From 1962 until 1968 Pieter Van Mol regularly spent the winter months in London, where he stayed with some friends, in order to finish his portrait assignments. He also executed portraits in Austria, Danemark, Germany, Sweden and Switserland. During spring, summer and autumn, Van Mol generally spent his time in the Provence, the area of Les Alpilles and the Camargue. In 1960, on his friends’ advice, he took classes at Die Schule des Sehens, the art seminars of Oskar Kokoschka (Pöchlarn (Austria) 1886 – Villeneuve, near Montreux 1980) in Salzbourg. He continued to attend Die Schule des Sehens once a year, until 1963.
As an artist Pieter Van Mol belonged to the so-called silent generation of 1900, with respect to which people are starting to realize now that it was kept in the shade for many years, and that only for a few years now, it has been getting some attention.
Around 1981, fate took him by surprise. Pieter Van Mol was suddenly faced with an eye disease, which turned worse ever since. In a later stage, also his brain became affected. Finally, hospitalisation in a home in Heidelberg (Germany) was inevitable. On October 24th 1988, Pieter Van Mol died in this home in Heidelberg.
Public collections: Collection of the Belgian State; Musée Réattu, Arles; Collection of the Community of Buggenhout; Collection of the City of Salzburg; City Museum, Sint-Niklaas
Bulletin, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe 1965 Hamburg
200 jaar Academie Mechelen, 1772-1972 herdenkingsalbum n°69/300 Mechelen 1972
Pieter van Mols provence-Bilder Edwin Kuntz in Der Kunsthandel februari 1977
Die Schule des Sehens Oskar Kokoschka und Schulearbeiten div auth s.d. Salzburg
Pieter van Mols Provence-Bilder Edwin Kuntz s.d. dr A Hüthig Verlag Heidelberg
Een eeuw Vlaamse Kunst exhibition catalogue Buggenhout 1989
Pieter Van Mol 1906-1988 dr JP De Bruyn in De Expert jg.3 n°1 jan 1990
Pieter Van Mol div auth Zele 1990
Pieter Van Mol 1906-1988 René Turkry Antwerpen 1990
Pieter Van Mol exhibition catalogue Stedelijk Museum en Stadhuis Sint-Niklaas 1990
Pieter Van Mol div auth exhibition catalogue Provinciaal Instituut Dommelhof 1990 Neerpelt
Pieter De Mol in Arts-Antiques-Auctions n°213 dec 1990
Belgian Artists’ Signatures Paul-L Piron Bruxelles vol.II 1991
René Turkry in Creare 20°jg n°1 Geel mar 1991
Het aquarel in de kunst exhibition catalogue Buggenhout 1992
Pieter Van Mol, olieverf en aquarel div auth exhibition catalogue Jette-Brussel 1994
Dictionnaire Biographique Illustré des Artistes en Belgique depuis 1830 Arto Bruxelles 1995
Le Dictionnaire des Peintres Belges E De Wilde Bruxelles vol.II 1995
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs E Bénézit Paris 1999 vol.IX
De Belgische Beeldende Kunstenaars, uit de 19de en 20ste eeuw Paul Piron Brussel 1999 vol.II
Biografisch Lexicon Plastische Kunst in België arto Antwerpen 2000 vol.II
Dictionnaire biographique des artistes plasticiens Belgique des XIXème et XXème siècles Paul Piron Bruxelles 2002
Dictionnaire biographique des arts plastiques en Belgique arto Anvers 2002
Dictionnary of Artists E Bénézit Paris 2006 vol.IX
Pieter Van Mol, 1906-1988 Knokke 2006