the use of colour in early Dutch film

The EYE collection contains a short film made in about 1910, in which two women, a child, and a man walk through beds of flower bulbs. These flower beds have been hand-coloured in shades of yellow and light purple.

The film was later given the title Bloemenvelden Haarlem. But which film is it?

two candidates

Archival records suggest two candidates. In the book ‘Ons Bioscopisch bedrijf - voorheen en thans’ (‘Our cinematographic company - then and now’, 1911) Franz Anton Nöggerath Jr. writes that his production company, Filmfabriek F.A. Nöggerath, made a short colour film of Haarlem’s flower fields in 1908.

A year later, in 1909, Alberts Frères made the short artistic film De legende over het ontstaan van de bloembollencultuur te Haarlem. This film consists of two parts: the first part is set in the seventeenth century, and the second part, set in the present (1909), depicts a visit to the flower fields. Alberts Frères also reports that the second part of the film is coloured.

the oldest preserved Dutch film in colour

It was long thought that Bloemenvelden Haarlem was the film produced by Nöggerath, but we now believe that it is most likely the second part of De legende van het ontstaan der bloembollencultuur te Haarlem.

This recording is the oldest known Dutch film in colour that has been preserved.

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There are earlier examples of colouring in foreign films: colour was added from the very earliest days of film. Read more