Cornelis Zitman, Dutch sculptor, Died at 89


Cornelis Zitman was born on November 9, 1926, in Leiden, The Netherlands and died on Januar 10, 2016.

He was a Dutch sculptor and draftsman.

Cornelis attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague at the age of 15.

He completed 1947, Cornelis refused compulsory military participation, as he disagreed with the Netherlands’ political actions in Indonesia, and fled the country aboard a Swedish oil tanker that would take him to Venezuela.

Cornelis resided in the city of Coro, where he found a job as a technical draftsman for a construction company.

During his free time, he painted and made his first incursions into the field of sculpture.

He received the National Sculpture Prize, in 1951

He began teaching classes in design at the Central University of Venezuela and continued drawing and painting.

In 1958, Zitman exhibited a collection of drawings and paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas.

He decided to abandon a life of business and moved to the island of Grenada, where he dedicated himself completely to painting and began to assert his style in sculpting.

Cornelis traveled to Boston to participate in an exhibition of paintings and design, in 1961, within that same year he returned to the Netherlands with a desire to study smelting techniques.

In the year 1964, Zitman worked as a smelting apprentice to the sculptor Pieter Starreveld before returning definitively to Venezuela, contracted by Central University as a professor of design.

The next year, Cornelis started working more intensively in small-format sculpture modeled directly in wax.

Zitman exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Dina Vierny in Paris, in 1971

From that time, Zitman dedicated himself exclusively to sculpture only.

During the following year, Cornelis did various independent showings in Venezuela, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States, Japan and other countries, earning various national and international awards.

Cornelis Zitman works can be found in collections and museums of various countries, such as the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas in Venez

Cornelis Zitman has a collection of awards, they include; the National Sculpture Prize at the Hall of Plastic Arts in Caracas (1951), First Prize at the Sculpture Biennial of Budapest (1971), the Acquisition Prize of the Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas at the Biennial of Visual Arts (1981) and Special Prize in the 3rd Kotaro Takamura Grand Prize Exhibition at the Hakone Open-Air Museum outside of Tokyo (1982).

Zitman was decorated with the Order of the Netherlands Lion, in 2005.

Cornelis Zitman passed away at 89 yrs old.