Willink, Carel

BORN 7 Mar 1900, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland - DIED 19 Oct 1983, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
BIRTH NAME Willink, Albert Karel
GRAVE LOCATION Amsterdam, Noord-Holland: Zorgvlied, Amsteldijk (N-III-297)

Carel Willink first studied medicine for a while and then architecture in Delft. But he soon moved to the Hague, where he decided in 1919 that he wanted to be a painter. He studied in Berlin at the Hans Baluschek's painting school and started out with expressionist works. In 1923 he exhibited with the November Group at the Moabit Glaspalast.

In 1924 he returned to Amsterdam and called himself a futurist. In 1926 he married Mies van der Meulen, but she left him in 1928. In 1931 he travelled through Italy with his brother Jan. In 1931 he painted "Venus resting", with Wilma Jeuken (b.1905) as the model. In 1934 he married Wilma. In 1935 they moved to the Ruysdaelkade in Amsterdam, where Willink lived until his death.

During the 1940s he painted the portrait of a mr. Stakenburg and many portrait commissions would follow over the years. In 1947 he stayed in Paris and in 1951 he exhibited at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. In 1960 Wilma died and he travelled to Rome to escape from his grief.

In 1969 he married Mathilda de Doelder, who was a society figure and had lived with him since 1963. She was 39 years his junior. He painted her naked three times. Willink started affairs with the mannequin Andrťe Rupp (1974) and sculptress Sylvia QuiŽl (1975) and after Mathilde damaged the portrait he had done of Wilma in 1952 he threw her out. Willink immediately started living together with QuiŽl.

On May 19, 1977 Mathilde said on television that she would commit suicide if the separation wouldn't be settled in a a way that would be acceptable to her. When it became formal she received 135.000 guilders and started her own gallery in Amsterdam. She also started an affair with car and coke dealer Gerard Vittali, who found her death on her bed on October 25, 1977. She was naked, had a gun in her hand and a bullet in her head. It was unclear if she had been killed or had committed suicide. Willink and QuiŽl didn't attend the funeral. They married and lived together until his death in 1983.


The grave of Carel Willink at Zorgvlied, Amsterdam.
Picture by Androom (14 Jul 2005)


• Reeth, AdelaÔde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988

Willner, Alfred Maria

Published: 30 Jul 2006
Last update: 06 Jul 2022