Lodewijk (Louis) Soonius (Veur 1883-1956 The Hague) grew up in a Catholic family in The Hague. His father, Wilhelmus Johannes Soonius, was a vegetable grower. When he was seventeen he made his first drawings of the changing cityscape of The Hague. In the same year he started as a painter at the Plateelbakkerij Rozenburg, where he befriended Chris Beekman, with whom he later quarreled. Around 1905 he started taking lessons at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He is often remembered as a painter of idyllic beach scenes with donkeys and children playing against the backdrop of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen.
Soonius had an ardent admiration for the old masters and was averse to the many -isms that emerged in painting. This resulted in a consistent way of painting everyday subjects in a somewhat impressionistic style. In 1913 Soonius won the Royal Subsidy for Painting, the current Royal Prize for Painting. This subsidy allowed Soonius to fully focus on painting, which is evident, among other things, from his dismissal from Rozenburg. After the First World War, Soonius joined the Hague Sketch Club, where he often exhibited nudes.
In the late 1920s, Soonius found it more difficult financially and sought additional income by making illustrations for various novels at the publisher Voorhoeve. In the 1930s it had several exhibitions at art dealers. His childhood drawings of The Hague were purchased in 1933 by the Monument Care Association and in 1939 Soonius was allowed to paint the portrait of Queen Wilhelmina. Now he can regularly be found at auctions and at art dealers and is popular as a painter of sunny, colorful beach scenes with figures and of harbour, sea and city views, with or without easels. For more information and images please see: https://www.louissoonius.nl/