Emilio Kruithof

Monster, 1969

Emilio Kruithof graduated from the Sint Joost Academy of Fine Arts in Breda in 1995, and went on almost immediately to mount a number of exhibitions. Emilio’s fascinating portraits of women are highly regarded both in his native country and abroad, and were even featured in the US soap Gossip Girl.

He explained in an interview: “I go for what touches my heart. I find women beautiful: women are my subject. I used to collect illustrations of women from LP covers, internet and magazines. My female friends read Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and whenever I can I browse through their magazines. The colours of creams, make-up, lingerie… these are the colours of my palette.

The skin of models looks so magical. The skin must be unblemished, smooth to the touch. Silence of the Lambs? Ah, my favourite B-film. But I’m a painter, you understand. For me, the skin is everything. I can’t go for long walks along the beach, I have to paint. And when I do, I can’t have women around me. They are loved ones, my objects. They don’t mean any more to me than the form on which I project my love. Yes, they’re objects, like a vase for Morandi or celebrities for Warhol.

I paint for the same reason as women apply makeup. They do it every day with infinite care. I paint every day with the same care: erotic minimalism. The form, the appearance, the attitude, the tone, impasto, transparencies and the brush stroke. The final touch is what it’s all about. Once I’ve put my model on canvas, I’ve done everything I can. She has the right posture, the appropriate framing, a depth and structure. Finally comes my last, intimate ‘touch’, the brush stroke that justifies her slip or renders her lips monumental.”

When Dutch actress Halina Reijn was awarded the prestigious Theo d’Or in 2013, she commissioned Kruithof to paint the portrait of her that now hangs permanently in Amsterdam’s Stadsschouwburg theatre.

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Jaski Gallery is situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s Art & Antiques district, where we’ve been since 1988. We specialise in work from the CoBrA movement and contemporary art. The gallery regularly stages exhibitions and takes part in major art fairs such as TEFAF in Maastricht and PAN Amsterdam.


Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 29
1017 DB Amsterdam
Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 – 18:00
+31 20 6203939