Gronigen, 5th June
Patricia was most privileged to visit Henk Helmantel at his home, which also includes his studio and museum.
The whole trip was made possible through Mr and Mrs Veldhuyzen van Zanten, the owners of the painting that features on page 190 in Patricia's book, and who also kindly arranged the meeting with the Helmantel's.
The visit was intended to present Henk and Barbera Helmantel with a copy of Patricia's book. They also gave permission for the photos to be reproduced.
The artists' studio. On the easel (in fact a pair of stepladders!) is the current work in progress and behind is the actual still-life setting. The two huge windows give perfect light for Henk to work with.
With glass featuring many times in Henk Helmantel's work, it is probably not surprising that he, like Patricia, is an enthusiastic glass collector.
Amongst his extensive collection of antique and historic glass, including many examples of Roman glass, are a lot of seed bottles that often feature in his paintings. These are also an important inclusion in Patricia's book as it is likely that 18th century seed bottles were used to grow the first hyacinths on water.
The example in this photo shows one of Henk's many seed bottles. Dark olive-green with a high kicked base, indicates the early manufacture. The slightly tapered top rim and the neck are sized perfectly to allow a hyacinth bulb to sit on it.
Seed bottles used in Henk's work can be seen on this page, first two paintings, second row.