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About the work of Kees de Kort


The Dutch painter, illustrator and designer Kees de Kort started his career 40 years ago with the series ´What the Bible tells us´. The series, commissioned by the Netherlands Bible Society, consists of individual Bible stories issued in separate little volumes and was originally intended for children with mental disabilities. His powerful, clear and colourful style has always appealed to a much larger audience, and now, 40 years later, there are entire generations that have grown up with the Bible stories of Kees de Kort. His drawings have captured the hearts of millions of children, not only in the Netherlands but also in 90 countries over the whole world. The strength of his work is found in the pictures, they tell the story.

After 'What the Bible tells us' Kees de Kort worked on three books aimed at an adult audience. There the paintings depict the prophet Amos, Job and the Song of Songs. Hope, love, freedom and war are important themes in these works. He illustrates these stories from the Old Testament in a penetrating way, thereby revealing the workings of the human soul: sometimes happy, sometimes cruel and sometimes desperate.

Commissioned by national and international organizations Kees de Kort has painted stained glass windows, altarpieces and triptychs with religious themes.

The Bible is an important source of inspiration for Kees de Kort. He loves religious art and understands that the influence of Bible stories on European culture and identity cannot be underestimated. Besides his more illustrative work that is inspired from the Bible, Kees de Kort has developed his own style as an independent artist. His 'pig paintings' reveal a great fascination for one of the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom. Nevertheless, the pig is completely exploited by man, who seems to know little more about them than that they can be consumed as pork chops. 'Ballad for Twelve Hams', 'Parma Pig with Stress Symptoms' and 'Serrano Pig with Population Explosion' are titles of paintings whicht can be seen as an ode to the pig.


The above text and image is taken from the booklet ‘Kees de Kort, a Tribute to Forty Years Artistry', published by the Bible Museum Amsterdam, at the exhibition from 12.21.2006 till 03.18.2007

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