Willem Dolphyn was born in Antwerp in 1935. At the age of 15 Willem entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, studying under Gustave de Bruyne, Anton Mastboom and Julien Creytens. At the age of 17 Willem became the youngest student to ever enter the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp. Willem gained a great deal of experience and professional knowledge from his father Victor, who was a teacher at the Academy and the founder of the new Classic School of Traditional painting. From his father and through their studious visits to study the works of the great masters in museums Willem developed his keen understanding of composition, detail and colour.
Over the years Willem began to focus on still life, prioritising compositions of fruit and objets d’art. His canvasses are instantly recognisable, and each showcases the sheer technical virtuosity in handling of light and evocation of texture and atmosphere.During his lifetime, Willem exhibited widely in Europe and Asia, with his first solo show in 1968, and he has taught over the years at the art academies of Mol and Berchem. Among the many achievements and awards afforded to Willem, he was bestowed the prestige appointment as Ambassador of Arts for the City of Antwerp.