Luite Klaver
painter, lithographer, inventor
a biography by Johan Degewij and Ingeborg Th.Leijerzapf

dutch translated by Johan Degewij from:

“Biografie van Luite Klaver door Johan Degewij en Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf in: 

GESCHIEDENIS VAN DE NEDERLANDSE FOTOGRAFIE (HISTORY OF DUTCH PHOTOGRAPHY) Nummer 33  Augustus 2000. Hoofdredactrice: Ingeborg Th.Leijerzapf. 
Uitgegeven door de Stichting Fotolexicon Amsterdam en Antwerpen 
ISBN 90-71877-09-4.”

Remark: The emphasis is on his photographic work.

Luite Klaver was a person with many qualities. Except painter, lithographer, plant nursery-man and photographer, he was also an inventor. During the twenties and thirties he did experiments with color photography and obtained patents concerning strip emulsions. His inventions were very promising and respected by scientists and engineers in the Netherlands, Belgium and England. His efforts were, however, made futile by the invention of the much easier to use three-layer color emulsions after the Second World War.

1870 Luite Klaver was born on september 21 in Hattem as a son of Hendricus Jacobus Klaver and Everlina Lubberta Barendsen. Locally he was called ‘Lute’. His father was a carpenter, grocer and tobacconist. Eleven children were born. Before the birth of Luite, three brothers all with the name Luite, died.
1882-1890  After elementary school, Luite assists his father as an carpenters apprentice. His uncle Willem, baker and amateur painter, stimulates him towards drawing and painting. Family members provide him with his first income: Sometimes they give him a guilder for drawings they order. He starts working with the railways as an errandboy and later he becomes an administrative assistant at the postal office in Hattem. Slowly he gets promoted and becomes  the assistant director. With the postal service he gets positions in the Betuwe, Rhenen and in Winterswijk.
1890-1892 Klaver gets painting lessons from Jan Voerman sr., who started to live in Hattem around 1887. Luite decides to become a professional painter and stops working with the postal services. He uses a gardenhouse on the townwall of Hattem as a studio
1892-1893 According to his daughters accounts, Klaver becomes a student at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. His name, however, could not be found in the archives of the Rijksacademie
1895-1898 Klaver becomes a student at the Rijksnormaalschool in Amsterdam, an education for highschool teachers. He gets a photography assignment of the company van Meurs and Co. to make copies of art, and earns a little income.
1896 Luite meets Gerarda Jacoba (Da) Doyer, born in Deventer at May 4, 1864. She has a licence for teaching handdrawing at a preliminary school and continous her studies at the Rijksnormaalschool. She also works in the studio of the well known painter Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof.
1898 Luite Klaver and Da Doyer marry in Hattem and start to live there. Da Doyer, born in a well to do family provides the money.
1899 Daughter Clare Helene is born in Hattem. Later she will be known as a writer with the pseudonym Clare Lennart.
1899-1905 Klaver works as a lithographer and a draughtsman on six books about plants with first authors K.Siderius (1899-1905, 1904) and J.Ritsema Bos (1905).
1900 The family Klaver moves to Oldebroek and starts to live in the landhouse “De Ekelenburg”. The landhouse is bought with money from Da Klaver-Doyer. Klaver exploits the farm and starts also a nursery for plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables. Except for the sale of garden products and paintings, he also earns money by selling photo’s of nature and photoreproductions of pieces of art.
1901 Daughter Eveline Hendrika is born in Oldebroek.
1904 Son Dirk Anton (Dick) is born in Oldebroek.
1910 Klavers undertaking on the property “De Ekelenburg” goes bankrupt. The family moves to a little house in Epe.
1913 In August Da Klaver stays sick in bed.
1914 The family moves to a larger house in Tongeren, county Epe.
1915 On September 6, Da moves to a pension in the neighbourhood of Epe in order to get better care as a patient. On December 6 she dies.
1917 Luite Klaver moves to a upper store in the “Daendelshouse” in Hattem.
1918 Klaver marries with Egberta Hendrika Geertruida (Bertha) Barendsen, a niece of Da, from ‘s-Heerenbroek (born in Kampen on October 19, 1875).
1919 Klaver and wife live in the landhouse ‘t Oude Spyker on the property Molecaten at Hattem.
Early twenties Klaver starts experiments with (color) photography.
1924 Starting this year Klaver gets patents on his findings concerning strip emulsions.
Thirties Klaver starts patent procedures for his concept of dichroic (splitting into two colors) colorfilters.
1936-1945 Klaver and his wife move in 1936 to Noordwijkerhout and later to Soestduinen where, during the war, Klaver works as a member of the board of directors of the DALCO photographic factory.
1945 Bertha dies in early January.
1945-1952 Some months after the liberation in may 1945, Klaver lives with his daughter Clare in Utrecht, later in Haarlem and finally in Delden with his son Dick.
1952 Klaver lives with his second daughter Eveline in Utrecht. Het gets recognition as a painter.
1960 Luite Klaver dies on November 28 in Utrecht. He gets buried in Driebergen.
1961 Klavers photographic inheritance is granted by his daughters to the University of Leiden.
Characterization and Motivation

Luite Klaver was according to legend a colorful figure, an artist of the romantic type: large hat, soft shawl and a sweet-smelling cigar, an impressive person, but in the eyes of his cool contemplating daughter Clare, in the first place a non-conformative dreamer. His modest nature, his retiring disposition and his aversion to be in the limelight, have never given him some recognition. The tendency to isolate himself began at the property “De Ekelenburg” in Oldebroek, were he started a plant nursery in order to paint financially independently in the future.
His activities as a painter, photographer and inventor were motivated primarily by his fascination to image nature with all details of form and color, in which financial problems always forced him to earn money with it. Painting was his main goal in live, in particular when it became clear after the war, that his very respected innovations were not able to provide him with an income. His motivation as a painter is well illustrated in an interview by Hans Roest in Het Nieuwe Dagblad of August 13, 1955: “‘I searched always for the exciting in everything I saw’, explains the aged painter to us, when we meet him with his daughter, the well known writer Clare Lennart. ‘People consider everything around them as something very normal. They don’t see the miracle. I have always tried to lift a little bit the veil for them. I did not succeed always, but if I wanted or not - I had to insist’.”  Indeed, many of his plans did not meet succes, but no misfortune could affect his love for nature.
The majority of his paintings is in het possession of his six grandchildren. Two paintings are in the collection of the Voerman museum in Hattem.

Plant nurser

Klaver was one of the first in the Netherlands who grew gerbera’s. He also started a tomato nursery, with the expectation that this fruit will ever gets into greater demand. This project failed, because the time was still to early.

Draughtsman and Lithographer

Klaver illustrated between 1899 and 1905 six books about plants, all published by S.L. van Looy in Amsterdam. He made pen drawings and color lithographies. For the first book he worked together with draughtsman/lithographer Theodoor Willem Nieuwenhuis, the other five he illustrated by himself.


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