Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek Biography

Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek




Painter, textile designer, and patriarch of what would become the noted Koekkoek artist family, Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek was born in Veere, Zeeland, the Netherlands, on August 17, 1778. He moved to Middleburg around the turn of the 19th century to work at the carpet and wallpaper factory of decorative painter Thomas Gaal. It was from Gaal that Koekkoek learned the basics of painting, and within a couple of years he had entered the Middleburg Drawing Academy, studing engraving and drawing. In 1803 he was given the title of Primus van de Academie.

After several years working as an art teacher, he relocated in 1826 to Durgerdam to try his hand as a freelance artist. He focused primarily on land- and seascapes, but soon focused almost entirely on seascapes and nautical themes. He developed a style reminiscent of the Dutch Golden Age, emphasizing light and shadow. He relocated one last time to Amsterdam, where he remained until his death in 1851.

His legacy includes several children and grandchildren who followed in his footsteps as artists, including sons Barend Cornelius, Marinus Andrianus, Johannes, and Hermanus, and grandson Johannes Hermanus Barend Koekkoek. His work is held in the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Dordrechts Museum, and the Museum Jan Cunen, Oss.