Josef (Jos) Kivits was born in 1945 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, the youngest of five children of Karel Kivits, a textile merchant.
He started to paint at the age of 11, attending art classes under Van Tiel, and at 15, began college under Van den Berg in Eindhoven. At 17 he became an architectural draughtsman and layout artist.
He and his brother, Cornelius, painted abstract and surrealistic works. The restoration work he did on romantic paintings for collectors led him to study the Old Masters and their techniques.
In 1972 he met Cornelius Le Mair, a graduate at the Academie of Beaux Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. He studied and painted with this great artist for some time. From that time he devoted himself totally to the classics, specialising in still-life, trompe l'oeil (fool the eye) and a twentieth century interpretation of the 17th Century compositions.
In search of warmer climatic conditions Kivits moved from his native country, The Netherlands, to New Zealand in 1973. Then in 1986, along with his wife Lydia and family he moved to Sydney Australia to settle.
Because of the great discipline and patience required in the execution of his works, he became somewhat of a recluse.
From 1979 he held several highly acclaimed solo exhibitions in New Zealand, USA and Holland.
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