Breetvelt, Henri Leonardus August
Worked at PZH from Aug. 1900 until Oct. 1902 and from 1916-1923

Henri Leonardus August Breetvelt was born in 1864 in Delft as the son of a well-to-do manufacturer and his wife. He followed lessons at the Delft Polytechnic from Adolphe le Comte and at the The Hague Art Academy. In 1888 he presented his first free ceramic work which got good reviews. In August 1900 he was hired by Egbert Estié at PZH as a designer and decorator. In October 1902 he moved to Maastricht to join de 'Société Ceramique ' where he designed and painted. In 1907 he joined Egbert Estie again at his new venture 'De Kroon' in Noordwijk. When this failed he moved to The Hague, where from 1909 until 1916 (or 1915 according to his obituary in the newspaper) he created a portfolio of designs. From 1916 he worked again for PZH, designing and painting unique decors that later were used as well by other painters. He died in Gouda in August 1923.

Henri Breetvelt was with little doubt the designer of the Delft Blue and Polychrome decors that started PZH's foray into this style of decor. He was also responsible for some superb portraits, interiors and landscapes on wall plates and vases, often after Dutch 17th and 19th-century paintings, and bird decors after Japanese artist Kono Barei.
It appears that (like in his later PZH period) he worked with a small team and based on his and their known output over their working period he must also have signed pieces that were not totally by his hand. This was also common practice at Rozenburg.

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