J.W. (Jan) van Trirum

Dutch artist Jan van Trirum was born on February 21, 1924 in Rotterdam. He passed away on September 21, 2011 at Wolphaartsdijk (Province Zeeland). His full name was Johannes Wouterus van Trirum.

Background Jan van Trirum

At the age of 13 Jan van Trirum worked as a student at advertising atelier ‘Mineur’. There he worked on large canvases for advertising in cinemas. This work gave Jan a tremendous skill in setting up a workpiece quickly and easily.

In the evening hours he studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. Previously this academy was called the Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA). There he received lessons in painting from the teachers Johannes Heyboer and Van Oort. Johannes Heyboer used to be a technical draftsman at Shell and was also the father of world-famous Dutch artist Anton Heyboer.

Because of the outbreak of the Second World War he could not complete his studies at the academy. Later Jan made study trips to Italy and France.

Jan had three daughters and moved to the coast in Zeeland in 1973. His daughter Jacqueline van Trirum has also become a painter and sculptor by profession. She still lives Wolphaartsdijk and has her own studio with the name ‘Zeewind’ (Sea breeze).


Jan is best known for his paintings of young kittens. He also painted stable interiors with horses, playing puppies, water pools with ducks and beach views. He also made paintings of the cities of Dordrecht and Rotterdam. In addition, he has worked for a period on paintings from the Dutch natural park ‘De Biesbosch’.

In the sixties he made modern work in a powerful way of painting. For this Jan used both the brush and the palette knife. The subject of these paintings was the construction of the Van Brienenoord Bridge. This special bridge is located over the river ‘Nieuwe Maas’ on the east side of Rotterdam.

Jan also painted many portraits. Especially his daughters with their girlfriends were a favourite subject. At a young age they were often portrayed playing on the beach of Zeeland.

Jan van Trirum was a member of the ‘International Organization of Free Art’ (IOFA).