Roos Nagetgaal – Bosnak (1922 – 2019) was born in Berlin as the daughter of a German woman and a Jewish father. In 1933, when the climate in Germany deteriorated, they moved to Amsterdam. There, they lived in complete poverty without any furniture with the only thing they could take from Berlin: a sewing machine.
Roos Bosnak followed a course in fashion drawing and design at the Industrial School for Girls in Amsterdam. But she had more passion for the arts en continued her studies at the Hendrik de Keijzerschool, which later on became the Rietveld Art Academy. In 1943, in the middle of the second world war, she met her future husband Jan Nagtegaal in a shop while they were both trying to sell their paintings. Jan Nagtegaal started teaching Roos and after a while Roos Bosnak moved in with him in his small studio. Together they lived in complete poverty in a small attic with only one bed and two easels.
One of the theme’s in Roos Nagtegaals work are flowers. When living in complete poverty she didn’t have money to buy bouquets in order to create a still life with flowers. She bought one tulip and painted that one tulip from different angles in order to create a full bouquet on her canvas.
This poverty came to an end when Jan Nagtegaal met an American art dealer who started to sell his paintings overseas. From then on things improved for the artistic couple. In 1967 Jan and Roos Nagtegaal moved from Amsterdam to the province of Drenthe, a rural area in the north east of The Netherlands, where they lived a very productive life as independent artists. As from the 1960’s Nagtegaal and her husband made many trips abroad, which can also be seen in her work.
Works of Roos Nagtegaal – Bosnak can be found here.