The painter J. S. H. Kever, also known as Hein Kever, was born into a wealthy family. His mother was friends with Jozef Israëls, who secured him a place in the studios of prominent lithographers, including with Petrus Franciscus Greive. When Greive died in 1872, Kever established himself as an independent painter in Eemnes, where he often worked outside. He also made interiors, usually without figures, to avoid the cost of models.
In 1878 he attended a winter course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he studied under Karel Verlat, together with his friend Theo Hanrath who died in 1883. After this study he settled in Blaricum, but kept a pied-à-terre at the Oosterpark in Amsterdam, where he stayed during the winter months.
Beetle showed little wanderlust in his life. Except for short periods in which he worked in Nunspeet and Brabant, he always stayed in ‘t Gooi. In 1887 he married and bought a house in Laren, opposite Anton Mauve’s ‘Villa Ariette’, whom he very much looked up to (when Mauve once came to assess a painting he hid it, saying that it had already been sold and sent, he was for his judgment).
Beetle is considered part of the Larense School. He painted landscapes, portraits, still lifes and a number of cityscapes, but was best known for his many austere peasant interiors from the then poor Gooi region. In his best works he rivals his ‘rival’ Albert Neuhuys. Beetles’ art is sensitive and harmonious in tonal and light ratio, but always subdued and rarely emotionally charged. He only made limited use of contrasts and light effects. Later in life, his test became a bit looser and he apparently gained more self-confidence because of his success. Kever died in Laren in 1922, aged 67. The ‘Hein Keverweg’ is named after him in Laren’s memory.
Technique: Oil on panel
Dimensions: 37 x 29 cm (without frame)