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Painter Kees van Bohemen

Wedfwoodprice 1966 for Kees van Bohemen, standing for his painting in Museum Fodor on January 14, 1966 (National Archiv, The Hague).

Kees (Cornelis Bernardus) van Bohemen (The Hague 1928- The Hague 1985) is a Dutch painter. He is considered one of the most complete painters in the Netherlands. His fame extends beyond the Dutch borders.

Kees van Bohemen studies in the 1940s at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. At the age of twenty-four he receives a scholarship to study in Paris for nine months. At intervals he stays in Paris for five years and there he makes friends with some painters from the Cobra group. Until 1957 he shares a studio with Corneille.

At the end of the 1950s, Kees joines the Dutch Informal Group. Other members of this group are Armando, Jan Schoonhoven and Jan Hendrikse. Afterwards he is indirectly involved in the Dutch Zero movement. He also becomes a member of the Posthoorngroup, Pulchri Studio and the ‘Haagse Kunstkring’.

In 1963 Kees receives the Talens Prize, in 1964 the important Jacob Maris Prize, in 1966 the Wedgwood Prize and in 1969 in Ostend the Europe Prize.

Kees quickly goes his own way. His early work is characterized by the absence of figurative elements. These paintings are made up of contrasting white and black parties. In the sixties he gives a sensation with his ‘sports paintings’ with topics such as boxing, horse races, cycling and motor sport. These paintings often have a large size and are characterized by a virtuoso paint treatment. His travels to Africa and America (1966-1967) and Africa (1972) lead to exotic paintings.

Color and shape are important for Kees. The choice of the subject is less important to him. ‘I do not want to work anecdotally, do not tell stories in paint’, Kees says once.

In 1985 Kees dies in a hospital in The Hague at the age of 56. Works by his hand belong to the collections of the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Gemeentemuseum The Hague and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Kees van Bohemen is the brother of the Dutch painting restorer Nico van Bohemen and father of actor Casper van Bohemen. He married to painter and draftswoman Elisabeth Berdina (Els) van der Zijde (born 1936).

Sources: wikipedia and


Mover Cees van Boheemen

Cornelis van Boheemen (Stompwijk 1846-Den Haag 1901) is the fifth child in the first marriage of the Stompwijk stock-breeder Paulus van Boheemen with Pieternella Reeuwijk. His mother dies when he is only 2 years old. Father Paul then remarries three times. In total he gets eighteen children in the period 1839-1871, of whom thirteen become adults.

A horse-drawn semi-trailer shortly after 1900 (F. C. van Boheemen, 2010).

Cornelis marriesin 1871 with Theodora van Rijn (Stompwijk 1846-The Hague 1924). He sees no future for himself in Stompwijk and therefore settles in 1876 in the strongly expanding city of the Hague. There he drives a water and fireshop in the Old Center, where he also sells things like coffee, tea and fuels. In 1884 he moves to the new Dichtersbuurt and starts a stable at Da Costastraat 95. There he rents horses, executes taxi rides with a carriage and stores furniture. He extends this business into a removal company and puts also into use adjacent buildings for this purpose.

Cornelis dies of pneumonia in 1901. The moving company is then continued by his sons Paul, Nelis, Dorus and David. They manage to rank among the top of 25 Dutch removal companies in 1907. Not only removals are carried out within The Hague, but also removals throughout Europe as can be read from the vehicles. The transport over a large distance then goes over the rail track (or with ships as to Dutch East Indies). In 1916, several buildings on the Kepplerstraat are purchased because of a need for additional storage capacity and putting away trailers. Around 1925 a switch from transport with horses to transport with trucks takes place.


One of the first trucks shortly after 1920 (F.C.van Boheemen, 2010).

In 1948 son David takes over the business in its entirety. He is succeeded in 1959 by his son Dick who chooses small scale. After his death in 1999, the family business ends after 115 years.

Source: F.C. van Boheemen, Kistenmajoors and the shipmasters. The Hague moving company C. van Boheemen & Zonen (1884-2000). ISBN 978-94-6010-041-3). See Publications.


VOC-soldier Arnoldus van Bohemen

Replica of VOC-ship Batavia.

Arnoldus probably has great sea-legs. He makes many trips employed by the VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie; United Dutch East Indies Company).

October 14, 1714 Arnoldus gives notice to marriage Anthonia de Goijer in the Reformed Curch of The Hague. The marriage is confirmed two weeks later by clergyman Kempenaer. Arnoldus is then a soldier under the leadership of Captain Boxtel. According to the marriage books, both are born and living in The Hague.

If the interpretation of the VOC archives has been carried out correctly, Arnoldus makes no less than six trips to Batavia. The first trip begins April 25, 1717. He leaves his wife and a son of more than 1.5 years behind. Three more or less connecting voyages follows. He always stays away for 2-4 years. Between voyages he is only home for several months.

Voyages of Arnoldus van Bohemen to Dutch East Indies.

After coming back in 1725 Arnoldus does not go to the East Indies for more than seven years. During this period, his family is expanded with three children. At the end of 1732 he again boards a ship to Batavia. During this voyage, his wife gives birth to another child. Arnoldus then stays away for almost four years. The subsequent voyage takes more than two years.

The last trip to Batavia begins in March 1741. In September of that year he arrives. Half a year later he dies there.

Arnoldus joins as a soldier on two of the four voyagers. On two other voyages he is sailor and in the last two voyages he is a ‘bosschieter” (experienced sailor who is also charged with firing a gun).


Franciscan Frans van Bohemen

Franciscan Frans van Bohemen (1917-1994)

Franciscan Frans van Bohemen is born with the name Nicolaas van Bohemen (Oostvoorne 1917-Nijmegen 1994). His father is een market-gardener, but he als runs the pelgrimage-café House of the Two Witnesses in opposite of the spot in Den Briel where the nimeteen martyrs of Gorinchem are hanged.

Frans joins the Franciscans in 1940 and then adopts the name Frans van Bohemen. The choice of the Order of the Franciscans will have to do with the fact that seventeen of the nineteen martyrs of Gorcum belong to that order.

In 1943 Frans is ordained a priest in Weert. Then he studies exegesis of the New Testament in Leuven, on which he graduates there in 1949. This period has a great influence on his life, because until just before his death he keeps himself busy with it. He always hopes to publish the results of his scientific work in a book. He often speaks of it.

Frans becomes a teacher at the Franciscan priest training in Weert and Alverna, and later at the Catholic Theological College in Utrecht. He does not stand out because of a systematic approach to the lecture material, but because of the reflection of his thoughts upcoming his lectures. In his role as pastor of the Willem Arntz House he incorporates his view of the Bible in highly praised sermons.

Within his community he takes care for the financial administration, calls forth theological discussions, brings fraternal conviviality and is an excellent reserve cook. In his family circle, he is a welcome guest with his cheerful outlook.

The elimination of the community Wittevrouwensingel touches him deeply. If he has reconciled himself and prepars for his move, he suffers a serious heart attack. He is then tied to bed and chair and can hardly express himself anymore. Those who are close to him in those months, share with him feelings of powerlessness. After a loving care in Berchmanianum he dies in peace in 1994. After the funeral service in La Verna chapel in Wijchen-Alverna, he is buried in the churchyard there.

Source: Memorial card of Franciscan Frans van Bohemen


Baker Piet van Boheemen

Still under construction.


Rubber grower Cees van Boheemen

Still under construction.


Honorary citizen Laurens van Bohemen

Still under construction.


Restorer Nico van Bohemen


Still under construction.


Jan van Bohemen in service of Napoleon

Uniform of infantryman of the line

Jan van Bohemen (1787-1813) belongs to the family branch of which several members become soldiers. In 1811, like his father and a brother, he works as a fruit seller in The Hague. On April 18, 1812, he volunteered to serve in Napoleon’s army. He joins the 88th Cohort. This army unit is intended solely for the security of the own departments. South Holland then belongs to the Mouths of the Maas department.

However, after the Russian Campaign debacle, Napoleon wants to rebuild his army and break his promise. As a result, the 88th Cohort is incorporated on January 1, 1813 in the 146th RIL (Regiment Infanterie de Ligne). This infantry regiment joins the XIe Corps of Marshal MacDonald.

MacDonald goes to Silesia with an army of 100,000 men to fight with the 90,000-man Silesian army made up of a Prussian Corps and two Russian Corps. This culminates in the Battle of Katzbach lost by MacDonald. The losses on the French side consist of 12,000 dead and 18,000 prisoners, as well as a large number of guns and other equipment.

MacDonald then retreats, but the 17th Division, including the 146th RIL, is left behind at the Bóbr (river in Silesia). This unit surrenders to the Russians on August 29, 1813 after an unequal battle with heavy losses. After the capitulation of Napoleon in May 1814, the men survived return to the Netherlands.

What soldier Jan van Bohemen experiens, is unknown. He dies a month after the atrocities of fever in a hospital in Erfurt.