(b The Hague, Jan 6, 1876; d The Hague, Dec 11, 1955).
Dutch sculptor and ceramicist. He trained at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague (1894–7) and in various sculpture studios. In 1898 he decorated the shop-front of the gallery Arts and Crafts in The Hague after a design by Johan Thorn Prikker, who advised him to set up on his own. From 1901 Altorf exhibited regularly and successfully; he was represented at the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna in Turin in 1902, where he won a silver medal, and at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925.
Altorf was a leading exponent of Dutch Art Nouveau. His work is characterized by a strong simplification of form. It is often compared with that of Joseph Mendes da Costa but is somewhat more angular and austere. At first Altorf made mainly animal forms from various types of wood, ivory, bronze and ceramic. In firing his modelled figures, he worked with the ceramicist ...