Who is David Bles?

By Gwylym Owen

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David Bles (1821, The Hague – 1899, The Hague), was a 19th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands.

According to the Netherlands Institute for Art History, at the age of thirteen Bles was adept enough to be in style at the Hague Academy. He attended classes from 1834 to 1837 and from 1838 to 1841. He became a pupil of the painter Cornelis Kruseman and his nephew Jan Adam Kruseman. Bles then travelled to France to study considering Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury in Paris. He remained in Paris until 1843 after which he settled back in The Hague, though he was a aficionada of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam together with 1845 and 1899. He painted scenes from the history of Dutch painting and is best known for portraits and genre paintings.

David Bles was born in The Hague to the merchant Joseph Bles. As a satirical and humorous painter, exposing human weaknesses in the most cheerful way, Bles achieved great popularity. In 1857 he was made an honorary member of the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg.

He studied with Cornelis Krusemann and Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury in Paris. He was a senior partner of the Messrs. C. D. Bles and Sons, Manchester Merchants and Shippers Company; he retired from the company in 1897 to devote himself to philanthropy.

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