Irma de Witte (1938) was born of Dutch parents on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. During the war the family was held in a Japanese concentration camp from which they were liberated in august of 1945.
In 1946 the family returned to the Netherlands. In 1981 Irma and her husband moved to France, where she chose to stay after his death.
Encouraged by a visiting artist, she started painting in 1994, teaching herself by copying photographs. In 2002,wanting to broaden her horizon, she started painting fantastic landscapes populated by all manner of strange creatures, which has become her signature style.
The great painter Marie Morel on Irma’s work:
“Creatures pierced by spears, bleeding to death while others fly happily above. (…) There are all kinds of colours in Irma’s paintings, yellow, blue, red, green, brown… but the colour isn’t raw, the harmony is meticulous, nuanced, refined for each item incorporated into the painting. (…) Beneath its surrealism the work is narrative, captivating the viewer with its finely-worked colours: green, darkening as it follws the branch of a tree, a mountain slope in a myriad shades of chestnut, interspersed with four or five livelier colors, like maps of an imaginary world.”