Born to Dutch parents on May 15, 1884, he was raised in Amsterdam, where his father died when he was only ten years old. Unable to care for her ten children on her own, his mother had to place some of her children elsewhere. Nico was brought to a relief house, where he received instructions as a fine art restorer.
In 1907 he found work at Bellevue in Amsterdam and made friends with Simon Maris, who gave him valuable hints and instructions. He then got a job with the Urban Museum in Haarlem, married in 1911, and moved to Cologne, Germany, where he worked at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, among others. Returning to Amsterdam in 1913, Cevat became a member of the St. Lucas artist association as well as&nb
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