Pavement café

To Willem Hofhuizen, eating and drinking were essential events – a kind of rituals, in fact. He liked his tables well-laid – and certainly well-filled – and was a regular visitor to many a restaurant in Maastricht, using his paintings to pay the bills. He often dined at Jean Labrouche’s, for example, or at the now famous “het Plenkske”, which in those days was owned by Hans Pauw, or "Aux coins des bons enfants" where he made two plaquettes on the wall. He was also “not averse to a good glass”, as he was apt to say. Many older inhabitants of Maastricht will remember him seated in a café, where he shared his views of humanity with other visitors and guests until the small hours. Only the very brave dared enter into such discussions with him.

Although Hofhuizen loved to spend time in cafés, it wasn’t so much the interior of a café that appealed to him as a painter, but the exterior, on the pavement side. Pavement cafés are a frequently recurring motif in Hofhuizen’s work, probably because of the sunny and joyful atmosphere they evoke, which is reminiscent of the Mediterranean life that he loved so much.

 


Oil on canvas 60 x 50
1957



Oil on canvas 60 x 50
1964



Oil on canvas 60 x 70
1972


Oil on canvas 70 x 60
1974


Oil on canvas 60 x 50
1974


Oil on canvas 60 x 70
1976

Pavement café at Cuenca
Oil on canvas 60x70
1975

The waiter always wears a black suit and usually a bow tie – that’s how it should be. Sometimes Hofhuizen is there himself – the man with the beard. There is always a glass of beer, except in Cuenca, where wine was the drink of choice. Always a dark-haired woman and a blonde one too, even in Cuenca. Usually (but not in Cuenca) white and oranged striped awnings and sometimes a red parasol. That’s your typical Hofhuizen pavement café.