Jitske Schols (b. 1969) is a Dutch visual artist based in Amsterdam. She has a background in communications and combines her interest in people and their stories with her love for painting. Schols’ work focuses on telling lost or untold ‘herstories’ as a counterpoint to all the stories of men in ‘history’. She often works on long-term projects where she thoroughly researches her subjects and in the process is inspired to create paintings that she uses to tell the stories of these women.

Her paintings are never a true reflection of what has been, but rather an interpretation mixed with the artist’s personal memories, experiences and emotions. She has no illusions that she can capture the entire life of a woman in a series of paintings. Delving into the lives of these beautiful women not only inspires her to create series of paintings, but also gives her the opportunity and tools for her own personal growth.

Frieda Belinfante, for example, showed Schols to be courageous. Caresse Crosby’s story tells that you should do the things that you are passionate about, no matter what the world thinks – although the hedonistic lifestyle does not really appeal to the artist ;-). From Nynke Postma she learned that loyalty is priceless. Her own great-grandmother taught her the importance of independence and Eunice Foote showed that it is wise to get off the beaten track every now and then. One by one these women have become important coaches for the artist. One can only hope that Schols can put the lessons learned into practice whenever necessary.

I am not trying to paint reality. What I paint is my imagination.

Schols gained recognition as a photographer winning the Dutch National Portrait Prize in 2017. During covid lockdown she exchanged her camera for the brush and dedicated herself to painting. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally and she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including the Canon Zilveren Camera and a retrospective exhibition of her paintings in a Dutch museum. Works by Schols are included in several corporate and museum collections.

[Photo: copyright Frank Ruiter]


2025: Solo at s o o n Gallery, Antwerp (upcoming)
2024: 2023: Anna Singer Art Exhibition – Singer Laren
2024: Group show Expocafe Zamen
2023: Anna Singer Art Exhibition, kids edition – Singer Laren
2023: Artist in residence at Nynke’s Pleats
2023: Anna Singer Art Exhibition, Singer Laren
2023: Women in Art by Kiekie Art, De Hallen Studio’s Amsterdam
2022: Anna Singer Art Exhibition, Singer Laren
2022: Jury member De Beeldmakers
2022: Solo exhibition MADAMADAM, Stadsmuseum Harderwijk
2021: Group exhibition Gelée Royale at Galerie Rompone in Köln, Germany
2021: 2nd Prize at Zilveren Camera Awards, section ‘Portraits series’
2021: Exhibition ‘Shreds of Eve’ at Galerie Madé van Krimpen, Amsterdam
2020: Longlist Dutch National Portrait Prize
2020: Nominated for SO Awards 2020
2020: Haute Photographie, Rotterdam
2019: Longlist Dutch National Portrait Prize
2019: Photo Basel, Switzerland
2019: Fotofestival Naarden themed ‘Dutch masters and marvelous misfits’
2019: Interview series ‘The meaning of life’ (Volkskrant) of Fokke Obbema (accompanied by my portraits) nominated for ‘De Tegel’ award in the category ‘interview’
2019: Haute Photographie, Rotterdam
2018: Exhibition ms Oranje | Changing course Koers from September 8th 2018 – July 18th 2019 in Het Scheepvaartmuseum (the National Maritime Museum)
2018: ‘Songs for soprano’ a duo exhibition with Maarten van Schaik at gallery Caroline O’Breen
2018: Exhibition ‘SPROUT’ at De Engelbewaarder
2018: 2nd Prize at Zilveren Camera Awards, section ‘People in the news’
2017: Winner Dutch Photographic Portrait Prize 2016: listen to radio interview NOS radio 1

Photo: (c) Frank Ruiter