In 1977 the painter Geer van Velde (1898-1977) dies in Cachan near Paris. In a painting career spanning more than 50 years Van Velde has periods of great poverty and disappointment alternating with periods of success and recognition. During the first difficult years in Paris the brothers Bram and Geer receive financial support from their former patrons Eduard and Wijnand Kramers from The Hague. During the Great Depression this source dries up and Bram and Geer are left to fend for themselves. In The Netherlands Kramers tries to create interest at various art dealers, but results are very poor. The collector Regnault buys a work by Geer, but that is all.


Samuel Beckett, the Irish writer living in Paris becomes an important man in Geer van Velde's life. Beckett introduces Geer to influential personalities such as Peggy Guggenheim, who shows him in her London gallery in 1938. Later that year Geer and his wife leave for the South of France, after he, Bram and Beckett become estranged. It later becomes apparent that this year brings about a turning point in Geer's artistic and personal life. The Mediterranean light significantly influences not only his palette, but also his visual language. His contacts with the painter Pierre Bonnard and gallery owner Aimé Maeght are likewise of great significance for Geer.


After liberation in 1944 Geer and his wife Elisabeth return to Paris and move into a house in Cachan, in the "banlieu". On his return he finds his brother Bram in distressed circumstances. Making use of the friendship he formed with Aimé Maeght in the South of France, Geer launches Bram's work in the Parisian Maeght gallery on the Rue Téhéran, which opens in 1945. The relationship is re-established with Samuel Beckett who writes articles on the work of both brothers. Despite favourable reviews the paintings scarcely sell. Nevertheless Maeght believes in the artists and publishes the work in several editions of his magazine "Derrière le Mirroir". All of this leads to an invitation for an exhibition at the Samuel M.Kootz Gallery in New York.


After the war the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (1947) and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1950) show interest in the van Veldes' work in The Netherlands; Sandberg even visits Geer in his studio.