Willem Dooijewaard is the brother of Jacob (Jaap) Dooijewaard, 16 years his senior, who, like Willem, is a painter. Having decided independently from his older brother, Willem Dooijewaard also chose to pursue a career in painting.
Willem had a passion for travel that endured throughout his life. After a stay in the Dutch East Indies he went on join several voyages. He travelled to Mongolia, China, Japan, Tibet, India and Tunisia. In those distant countries and amid exotic peoples, Willem Dooijewaard created his major works.
In 1933 Willem and his wife took up residence in the house of his brother Jaap in Blaricum. Both brothers lived under the same roof, but worked separately in their own studios. They were good friends with William and Anna Singer (from the current Singer Museum in Laren, The Netherlands). In 1919 William and Anna invited the two brothers to their home in Norway. The Norwegian landscapes that Willem painted in this period are exceptional compared to his other work.
In 1937 Willem and his wife travelled to the south of France, where he painted landscapes and cityscapes. In Nice he met the director of the Opera House and soon he was permitted access to the rehearsal rooms, where the dancers practised. Willem had the opportunity to make intimate drawings and sketches after ballerinas and "cancan" dancers. This period is also considered a separate chapter in his oeuvre.
After the Second World War in 1948, a time when Willem painted little, he and his wife visited Morocco. Willem was impressed by the mysterious nature of the veiled women he saw, so he arranged some to pose for him as a model. As a result, Willem painted several beautiful Asian women and harem girls, by many considered some of his best works.
Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on October 7th, 1892
Died in Blaricum, The Netherlands on July 17th, 1980