Müller & Co
Between 1912 and 1918, Bart van der Leck receives an annual allowance from Helene Kröller-Müller on the recommendation of her advisor Hendrik Bremmer, thus making her Van der Leck’s patron. In 1914, the artist is employed by Wm H. Müller & Co, where Anton Kröller is director. His first commission is to create a large stained-glass window for the company’s headquarters in The Hague.
To find inspiration, at the company’s expense Van der Leck visits the iron ore mines that Wm H. Müller & Co operates in Spain and Algeria. He produces many drawings and sketches during his four-month journey and writes to Bremmer: ‘The mine is interesting, fine to develop in my work (…) I have never seen so much colour in the landscape as here, it is often enchanting’.
Modern and simple
Helene is very impressed by his design for the stained-glass window: ‘Van der Leck – that is modern, even free of all tradition, more modern and simple than I have ever seen elsewhere – thus it depicts the mining industry, thus and not otherwise’.