31.03.1902 (Scheveningen, The Netherlands) - 17.11.1995 (The Hague, The Netherlands)
Louis Meys was born on March 31st, 1902 in Scheveningen, The Netherlands. He was already acquainted with the arts at an early age and had an exceptional eye for detail and the visual world around him. His parents encouraged his artistic feelings and gave him the essential materials. He made his first painting at the age of 8. However, when Meys wanted to pursue his childhood hobby as his profession, his parents were less enthusiastic. They wanted him to have a proper job, so he received training at a technical school where he studied mechanical engineering.
Meys started out as a technical draughtsman, but after nine years he left the field. He became a member of The Hague Art Society and started a life as a painter. In 1934 he had his first solo exhibition. As a versatile painter of landscapes, still lifes, portraits, town views and seascapes, Meys always made many sketches and drawings, which assisted him in completing his larger oils in his studio.
Meys loved The Netherlands and enjoyed working in his quiet, peaceful studio in The Hague. Yet he was no homebody and enjoyed seeing the world; he visited Africa, Italy, Germany, Greece, the U.S., Portugal and Israel. In 1939 the arrival of the Nazis caused him to flee to France, where he stayed for a few years. There, his friend and painter Frits Klein (1898-1990) introduced him to the widow and family of Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Many scholars compare the work of Meys to that of the late French Impressionists. Despite the fact that several painters clearly inspired him, like Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, Meys never wanted to be associated with a particular movement or group.