Ars Decora is your home base for the decorative arts, for art with a decorative value and decoration with an artistic value. We offer art that embellishes your home, your office, your life!
We care about art that does not keep to itself but seeks dialogue and invites reflection. On other works of art or architecture, on its history and the contemporary context in which it hangs or is put on display. The art can be intended as embellishment, such as decorative paintings and ornaments, or architectural and landscape imagery that reminds you of places you would like to visit. It can also be a tender portrait that tells a story you keep on wanting to hear.
People have decorated their homes for hundreds of years. We think the decorative arts reached a pinnacle in the period 1700-1950.That's why we offer objects mainly from that time, a period that saw the rise of great artists who are still widely known and loved today. We are keen to show you the masters and masterpieces you may not already know, or do know but rarely see. Works that are excitingly different from the common run. That are, therefore, more affordable. We want to surprise you, yet do our best to give the right information that enables you to appreciate the value of the work. In that respect, we will achieve our goal if you end your visit to the artworks we have on offer with a smile of contentment.
Hans F. van Herwijnen & Marc Seij
Dordrecht / Vlaardingen - The Netherlands
Ars Decora stands for quality. We think it is of crucial importance that you know what you are buying. All our works of art are carefully examined and cleaned or repaired as necessary. We employ the services of highly experienced restorers. Moreover, we conduct our own art history studies of the objects we buy. We report on the results in our explanatory notes and mention any traces of age and other significant features, making sure these are clearly revealed in the photos.
Do you want to know more about how we treat and restore our artworks and guarantee their technical quality? Please visit our page on art restoration.
Of course, everything here is for sale. Have you seen something you like? Please visit our contact page if you want to know more about an object of interest or wish to acquire it. If you would like a closer look first: all our pieces are available for private viewing by appointment.
As for our prices, you will find them listed transparently in the catalogues. Our prices do not include delivery because you may choose to pick up your purchase from Dordrecht or Vlaardingen in the Netherlands. If you choose to have your purchase shipped, then we will include the cost of delivery in the total price. We always insure all shipments, and let only the larger carriers handle the transport so there is no risk for you. We accept Paypal for international payments.
Your purchase becomes final once you have paid for the artwork. Our Terms and Conditions (which includes our privacy regulations) apply to all sales. This includes the right to return. If you change your mind, you may return your purchase to us within fourteen days of receipt.
“True art is like good company: it constrains us in the most delightful way to recognize the measure by which, and up to which, our inward nature has been shaped by culture.” (Goethe)
Although I graduated in law, my passion is art and culture. In 2020 I obtained my PhD in the humanities at Leyden University. The subject of my thesis was the work of Willem Adrianus Fabri (1853-1925). Fabri was one of the foremost decorative painters in the Netherlands around 1900 and he decorated houses, palaces, churches, government buildings and passenger ships mainly in the so-calles historical styles. In 2004 I became a member of the board associated with het Dordts Patriciërshuis (Patrician’s House, Dordrecht), which opened to the public in October 2011. The museum gives visitors an intimate view of an eighteenth century household. Recently I joined the board of the Cornelis Bakker Foundation, which manages the artistic legacy of a Rotterdam-based family of painters and art teachers active between, say, 1770 and 1930. Occasionally I consult for clients, or undertake research into paintings in interiors.
Ars Decora means more to me than an art dealership. I consider it my mission to bring forgotten works of art to the attention of art lovers.
When I was still at high school and started buying fine art and historical prints, I asked a collector I admired how I could learn to recognize quality. How do you tell what has value and what does not? I expected a learned opinion on textbooks and teachers, but the answer was simple: lots of looking and handling lots of art. And that is what I did, besides a degree in history and art history for the factual background. Now, nothing is more valuable to me than wiping off the dust of history and rediscovering the individual stamp of the creative artist, before delving into the encyclopedia or deciphering a signature.
Better than any private collection, Ars Decora keeps me constantly looking at and handling decorative art, rediscovering its artistic value, sharing it, and thus giving it a new future.