The nude bathers of Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman

(Last Updated On October 24, 2021)
Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Girls playing near the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Girls playing near the river

The Dutch painter, watercolourist and draftsman Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman was born on August 25, 1897 in Bad Kreuznach, a town in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. His father was a mathematics teacher and also a draftsman and painter. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. Because of his birth in Germany, his name is sometimes spelled in the German way: von Dülmen Krumpelmann.

He followed a private drawing course at the Hendrik de Keyserschool (King Henry school) and continued his studies at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers (National Normal School for Drawing Teachers). In 1918 he became a member of Arti et Amicitiae society in Amsterdam, and regularly exhibited at member exhibitions. Through his contacts with artists August Allebé, George Breitner and Willem Witsen, he developed his own impressionistic style. After his marriage in 1921 he settled in the Drenthe province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. There he came into contact with painters from Groningen art circle De Ploeg, after which his painting style became looser and more colourful.

He was co-founder of the regional art societies De Drentse Schilders (Painters of Drenthe), then the Drents Schildersgenootschap (Painting Society of Drenthe). In 1958 he won the Cultural Prize of Drenthe. In 1984 the Drents Museum organized a retrospective of his work. He died in the town of Zeegse on June 21, 1987. Of his two sons, the youngest (Erasmus Herman) also became a painter.

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman painted and drew various subjects, landscapes, city and village views, figure scenes and portraits, which are characterized by a smooth, loose brushwork and a bright colour. He became widely known for scenes of naked children bathing in Drenthe’s brooks. I include here a few paintings of bathing girls (I showed my favourite above).

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Kinderen bij de Drentse (Children by the Drenthe river)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Kinderen bij de Drentse (Children by the Drenthe river)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Children bathing in the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Children bathing in the river

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Badende meisjes (Bathing girls)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Badende meisjes (Bathing girls)

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman - Bathing girls

Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman – Bathing girls

Biographical sources:
Dutch Wikipedia page.
Encyclopedie Drenthe Online.

I thank my contact “Foxy” for drawing my attention to this painter.

5 thoughts on “The nude bathers of Erasmus Bernhard van Dulmen Krumpelman

  1. From the resemblance of the models in the paintings, I think that the painting were either inspired by a single outing to the brooks or they were somehow known to the artist (Daughters or daughters of friends/neighbours)

    As for bathing naked, even in the last 30 years (since I was young) young children have bathed or swam naked in rural areas…
    At my grandparents’ farm, there was a pond and the younger cousins (younger than 12) regularly went skinny dipping there.
    Easier than dealing with wet bathing suits.

  2. Yes, the scenes depicted in these paintings are truly beautiful. Everybody’s taste in art is different, but personally I believe that “photorealistic” painting would have been even more beautiful than the “loose brushwork” technique used here.

  3. Beautiful paintings! Do you know if children really bathe naked in the open in
    Drenthe’s brooks, or did the painter use some artistic license in creating the images?

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