Part of the Barbizon naturalist tradition, the small and picturesque village of Oosterbeek became home to one of the first Dutch artists’ colonies. Situated between heathland, many forests and the river Rhine, the village attracted nature fans, such as landscape painter J.W. Bilders. As the first to settle in Oosterbeek, he longed to capture the flux of light. The painter became an inspiration to many others, such as Paul Gabriël, Willem Roelofs, Jozef Israëls, the brothers Willem and Matthijs Maris and Anton Mauve and to his son Gerard.
Bilders had an unconventional, yet Romantic touch and looked at his surroundings from a new perspective. His son Gerard, who died rather young, is recognised as a forerunner of the Hague School. Even though Oosterbeek as an artists’ colony experienced its moment of glory around the 1880s, painters still find inspiration to paint in the village and nature nearby. Go see those paintings visiting one of many exhibitions in Oosterbeek and Renkum every year. Pay a visit to the Kunstroute Renkum, tour ArtBorne during the Airborne March, or look up one of the many expositions by Scarabee, foundation for Art and Landscape.