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van Hensbergen, Gijs 1958-

van HENSBERGEN, Gijs 1958-

(Arie van der Lemme)


Born July 12, 1958, in Belgium; son of Pieter (a scientist) and Ans (van Hecken) van Hensbergen; married Alexandra Coulter (a hospital administrator), November 30, 1986; children: Hendrikus, Rosa, Hester. Education: Courtauld Institute of Art, London, B.A. (with honors).


Home and office—27 Victoria Grove, Bridport, Dorset BT6 3AD, England. Agent—Curtis Brown Group Ltd., Haymarket House, 28/29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Knoedler Gallery, art dealer in London, England, and New York, NY, 1981-84; historian, art critic, filmmaker, and writer.


(Under pseudonym Arie van der Lemme) Art Deco, Appletree Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1985.

A Year in Castile, Sinclair Stevenson (London, England), 1992.

Gaudi: A Biography, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Author of a documentary film script about sculptor Antony Caro.


Guernica: Biography of an Icon, for Bloomsbury Publishing, completion expected in 2004.


Gijs van Hensbergen told CA: "My book A Year in Castile was a response to my personal passion for cooking, people and cookery, and book collecting. There was no convincing record of life behind the stoves or cooking in Spain. In 1986 my wife and I left London, the art world, the world of the art critic and filmmaker, to become a suckling pig chef in the ancient city of Segovia.

"My major influences as a writer have been Richard Cobb (an historian of the French Revolution), V. S. Pritchett, and the American, M. F. K. Fisher. But I make no claims to compete with them as writers. I have no doubt about the authenticity of my experience and my ability to discover the unusual person or moment. To travel with an open mind and to leave prejudice at home (for later) more often than not allows new experiences to come in.

"My writing process whenever possible is to write from nine to five, reread in the early evening, and throw away most. Deadlines are also immensely stimulating, as are visits from the bank manager. Inspiration, however, comes from the subject. The genius of Antonio Gaudi is hard to ignore or not be seduced by. The overwhelming power of Picasso's Guernica demands a response. My response is to tease out its life."



America, May 13, 2002, Jose I. Badenes, review of Gaudi: A Biography, p. 17.

Booklist, November 1, 2001, Spinella Michael, review of Gaudi, p. 455.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2001, review of Gaudi, p. 1279.

Library Journal, November 1, 2001, Jay Schaefer, review of Gaudi, p. 90.

Spectator, June 16, 2001, Simon Courtauld, review of Gaudi, p. 43.

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