Frits J. Goosen

Born near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Frits Goosen is a self-taught artist who began studying and sketching the older fishing boats and activity of the fishing communities during a career as manager of the Amsterdam Dockyards. From an early age, he sketched and painted, gleaning inspiration from the studio of Stephen Kip, a painter who lived nearby. He was unable to pursue early artistic education as he was required to provide for his family, so he joined the Royal Dutch Navy. After his time in the military, he took up an appointment with Bargee O. Hansen & Son in Amsterdam, where he worked for eleven years. Drawing and painting remained his great passion.

In 1976, Goosen decided to devote himself to painting full time and quickly developed a style that, while it reflects the traditions of the great 17th-century Dutch Masters like van Ruysdale and the 19th-century painters of the Hague school, is very much his own. Combining a unique ability to capture subtle qualities of light with a lush paint surface, the contemporary scenes he paints take on the depth and richness of the great European painters. Many of his paintings hang in the royal collections in both the Netherlands and England.

He began by painting the ships that surrounded him at the Amsterdam Dockyards, and to this day, nautical themes feature in his oil paintings. His specialty: charter sailing-ships and the “Brown Fleet,” or cargo ships with brown sails that are now more frequently reserved for pleasure. Goosen knows practically all charter-ships by name and the differences between them in great detail. He regularly takes part in regattas, including the SAIL event in Amsterdam and takes photographs on these voyages that will become the basis for his paintings. In addition to his works that feature sailing vessels, Goosen paints vegetation and cattle with technical detail. His paintings are characterized by his sensitive manipulation of composition, light, arrangement and color.

Besides his exhibitions in Holland, Goosen exhibits in Switzerland, Norway, England and the USA. Over the course of his painting career, he has received several awards: 1988, Award of Excellence, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut, USA, International Maritime Art Exhibition and in 2001, the Rudolph J.Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award. People’ Choice Award , Enkhuizen, Holland, 2002, Exhibition Neerlands Vloot en de zee on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the V.O.C. (United East Indian Company).

Frits has been a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), United Kingdom, since 1990.