Painter and teacher Matthijs Röling received the prize for his entire painted oeuvre. The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that his teaching at the Academie Minerva in Groningen has been no less inspirational to large numbers of younger artists than his painting. In 1983 Matthijs Röling began working on large-scale decorative projects, such as monumental canvases and wall and ceiling paintings. In recent years these projects have come to occupy an increasingly important place within Röling's highly diverse oeuvre. His manner has been compared to that of the Old Masters, and the illusionistic scenes he paints on walls and ceilings are reminiscent of frescoes. Notwithstanding these parallels with the past, Röling's work is distinguished by his independence, integrity and craftsmanship.
Matthijs Röling was born in the village of Oostkapelle in the Dutch province of Zealand in 1943. In 1960 he began his training at the Koninklijke Academie in The Hague. In 1963 he transferred to the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, from which he was expelled a year later. Since 1973 Matthijs Röling has taught at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. In 1962 Röling began exhibiting his work regularly in museums and galleries throughout the Netherlands. Galleries which have shown his work include M.L. de Boer and Galerie Mokum in Amsterdam as well as Galerie Wiek XX in Groningen.