I'd always assumed Gerritt Vandersyde (1898-1970) was a Dutch (or maybe Belgian) artist so I was more than surprised to discover he was actually British. He was born in Camberwell, London and although he signed his work Gerritt, his first name was actually Alfred.
These paintings of 'contemporay' children in his wonderfully colourful and unashamedly chocolate box style capture perfectly the essence of my blog. The joy and exuberance of childhood in the 1960's where the sun always shone, children played with total freedom outdoors and the world was somehow a more innocent and less complicated place.
Gerritt Vandersyde's paintings were not limited to depicting children at play. Other examples of his work, ranging from historical scenes to flamingos nesting next to a lake show what an accomplished artist he was. The next painting reminds me of an Old Master and I think shows the influence on his work of his Dutch heritage.
|Detail from The King's Christmas Present|
|Detail from The Canterbury Tales|
|Detail from Pink Flamingoes|
|Detail from Goldilocks and The Three Bears|
The Grape-Pickers of Portugal
Some of Gerritt Vandersyde's work appeared in adverts for Boots and Woolworth's in the UK so for a certain generation it may appear especially familiar.