Artist and musician Gerrit Brettler, 68, of Nice, died

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Artist and musician Gerrit Brettler has passed away. Brettler, who was born in Enschede, has been suffering from failing health lately. He was 68 years old.

Brettler had a Twente father and a Frisian mother. He came to Friesland in 1967 when he was thirteen years old. Breteler was already drawn to the visual arts at an early age and studied at the Art Academy “Vredeman de Vries” in Leeuwarden. In 1975 he graduated summa cum laude.

The countryside provided Brettler much inspiration and he developed into a versatile artist during his life. Breteler is mainly painted in the traditional style of the 17th century. His work has been shown in exhibitions in the Netherlands, Germany, England and France. Brettler also painted portraits on commission.


Brettler expressed his passions not only as a painter, but also in music, as a singer, in writing poems or inventing plays. In 1994, Brettler founded the Fling music group, with which he performed Irish folk music until 2002. The artist played various instruments: guitar, flute, violin, and could also work with the accordion.

Although he was not born a Frisian, Brettler mastered the Frisian language well. The decline of the Frisian countryside was a recurring theme in his work. He wrote songs in Frisian, which resulted in two CDs. In 2004 he was released soft drink out and followed up eight years later Catarsis. In 2017, the musician released his third CD calm With Frisian songs and covers in English.

Brettler also became socially active and became politically active in 2021. In the House of Representatives elections in March of that year, he came sixth in the NLBeter party, which was led by psychiatrist and columnist Esther van Fenema. Brettler also wrote the party song for the campaign. However, NLBeter was not successful in winning a seat.

Breteler has been experiencing failing health lately. He leaves behind a wife, son and daughter. Daughter Ann-Gowitzky is an author and has previously written columns for the Leeward Courant.

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