Anton Pieck

There are many famous Dutch artists, including Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt.  However one Dutch artist that never seems to be mentioned or heard of very much, is Anton Pieck.  He created many romanticised illustrations and paintings of Dutch life which have appeared on Christmas cards and calendars the world over.

The Chinese Nightingale

Pieck was born in 1895 in Den Helder, and won his first prize for art at the age of 11.  He then went on to graduate from art college aged 17.  Throughout his life he travelled all over the world, including England, France, Sweden, Italy and Morocco, drawing and painting throughout his travels.

However, what Pieck is probably best known for is his involvement with designing almost everything in Efteling.  He was approached in the early 1950s to contribute to a fairytale park, and his unique style shaped Efteling; most noticeably the Fairy Tale Forest, with its quaint buildings and quirky characters.  Since then, designers have taken on and developed his style for more recent additions to the park, which continues to grow.

Hansel and Gretel

The buildings he created in his illustrations were charming and rough around the edges, literally!  Look for a straight line in the Hansel and Gretel building above…Yeah, there aren’t really any to find.  This translated well into the real life buildings that were erected in the Fairy Tale Forest, as it made them look like they had been there forever, weathered by years of use.  It isn’t just Pieck’s buildings that were placed into the park.  Many of his characters were replicated and inserted throughout the park, including the frogs from The Frog King, Snow White and her dwarves, and Sleeping Beauty.  If you look at the illustrations of these fairy tales and then look at them in Efteling’s forest, you can see that almost nothing has been changed, in most cases.  For example, the Little Mermaid fountain:

Pieck passed away in Overveen in 1987 at the age of 92, but his artistic talent lives on in its larger than life state in Efteling.  There is also an Anton Pieck museum located in Hattem, not too far from Kaatsheuvel.

The Indian Water Lilies

The Magic Clock

The Frog King

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13 thoughts on “Anton Pieck”

  1. carol O'Shaughnessy said:

    We bought some tankards with Anton Pieck illustrations on them when we were last in holland. We would like more. Do you know where we could purchase them on the internet?

    • The best place to look would probably be eBay. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of Anton Pieck things sold in Efteling at the moment, but hopefully that will change in the future! You could also check sites like http://www.typicaldutchstuff.com/

      Thanks you for getting in touch!

    • The Efteling webshop sells some Anton Pieck stuff https://www.efteling.com/webshop/s-36-anton-pieck.aspx

    • d wassenaar said:

      Dear Carol we were walking in our shoppingmall in alkmaar the Netherlands
      and we saw a stand with 3D Anton Pieck Christmas postcards they are from Touche cards info@touche-cards.nl or I can send you a few cards they are 6×9 inch the price is not cheap 3,50 euro per card
      sincerely dick wassenaar

      • Corina Mom said:

        Hello Dick Wassenaar It was lovely to see your reply. Ironically I live in Australia but from Dutch parents. In my travels and from being Dutch decent, I have collected a number of wonderful prints of Anton Pieck. I am also an artist and currently doing my family tree . Ironically on my Father’s side, he was a MOM, there appears to be distant relatives named PIECK and ironically on my Mother’s side she was a de Ruiter van Wassenaar. I am always at aloss why Anton was not more widely known outside of The Netherlands as he was a superb artist/illustrator. So glad to find recognition of his beautiful works. Thank you for sharing.

      • It’s lovely to get replies as it has been years since I posted about Anton Pieck . We were looking for mugs/ beer mugs with Anton Pieck drawings of old Amsterdam on the sides. We have 3 already, bought 10 years ago when we were in Heiloo for our sons wedding. So far haven’t seen any more when we go over to Heiloo. We go regularly to Alkmar, a lovely place to wander round. Maybe our best bet is looking in charity shops.

  2. A. Paul Denial said:

    I have been given 6 X Anton Pieck Efteling postcards here in Yorkshire, England and can’t seem to find any information? They appear to have some age as they are yellowing, do you have any information please?

  3. Carol O'Shaughnessy said:

    Hello Dick
    Thanks for the information. I put the request for Anton Pieck tankards ages ago
    Strangely we have a son and daughter – in- law who live near Alkmaar and we go to visit regularly.
    It was the tankards we were wanting, but thank-you anyway
    Regards
    Carol

  4. janet hetherwick said:

    i have two prints matted and framed of anton pieck prints i think from a 1942 callendar….would they be worth anything?

    • It’s hard to tell. There are a lot of Anton Pieck prints on eBay, and they all seem to go for varying prices. Maybe look at the ‘sold’ listings and you might find something similar to yours! Sorry I can’t help any further than that.

  5. Jim Katz said:

    My introduction to the wonderful work of Anton Pieck was the arts and crafts idea of taking multiple copies of a print of his work, and cutting them into 3-d shadowbox prints of as many as six layers, glazed and mounted. Was this an idea started by Mr. Pieck? Did he produce pictures with this in mind? I have seen these framed pictures in houses here in Canada from about the middle 1960’s on up. Do you have these in the museum? Any information on this?

    • Hi Jim! I’m not aware that Anton Pieck started this style, maybe some more research is needed; I will look into it! You could contact the Anton Pieck museum, they will have some more information.
      Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll have a look into this myself!

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