Piet van der Hem (1885-1961) started out as a gallery painter and ended up as a society portrait painter. But in between, the maelstrom of World War I transformed him into a savage editorial cartoonist.
Van der Hem began his formal art training in Amsterdam and Paris. Early in his career, he participated in a Stedelijk Museum fine art exhibition, working with Piet Mondrian, Leo Gestelother and other young painters in the Amsterdam luminism school, the Dutch modern art movement.
He seemed launched on a career as a modernist. However, as World War I approached, he gradually dropped out of the avant garde and instead began drawing political cartoons with biting social commentary.
As the war ramped up, van der Hem caught his stride. This cartoon appeared shortly after German U boats sank the Lusitania:
Van der Hem was fond of portraying military men as monkeys.
However, as the Nazis ascended to power, they gradually crushed the Dutch free press. Van der Hem lost his forum and his artwork lost its bite. He went back to being a respectable artist. He spent the rest of his career doing society portraits which, while competent, in my view were undistinguished and not nearly as fun.