Thursday, July 12, 2012


Johan Barthold Jongkind

Jongkind (3 June 1819 – 9 February 1891) was born in the town of Lattrop in the Overijssel province of the Netherlands near the border with Germany. Trained at the art academy in The Hague, in 1846 he moved to the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France where he studied under Eugène Isabey and Francois-Edouard Picot. Two years later, the Paris Salon accepted his work for its exhibition, and he received acclaim from critic Charles Baudelaire and later on from Emile Zola.
Jongkind  was to experience little success, however, and he suffered bouts of depression complicated by alcoholism. He returned to live in Rotterdam in 1855, and remained there until 1860. Back in Paris in 1861 he rented a studio on the rue de Chevreuse in Montparnasse where some of his paintings began to show glimpses of the Impressionist style to come. In 1862 he met in Normandy with some of his artist friends, such as Alfred Sisley and Eugene Boudin, the young Claude Monet who later referred to Jongkind as "...a quiet man with such a talent that is beyond words." The following year Jongkind exhibited at the first Salon des Refusés. Despite several successes, in another of his down periods the Impressionist group did not accept his work for their first exhibition in 1874.
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Strand von Ste. Adresse
Current loc Louvre Museum
Source The Yorck Project

Seascape with ponies on the beach

‘Canal près de Rotterdam’

Mills near Rotterdam
Current loc Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

View of the Seine

Jongkind completed his training in Eugène Isabey’s studio. He often painted cityscapes, including this early view of the Seine, which can be dated in 1853. His works from this initial period are often panoramic and almost always show bridges and the quay or the bank of the river. In this view the Pavillon de Flore of the Louvre is depicted on the left with the as yet undeveloped bank in the foreground, with its boats, figures and horses with their striking red blinkers.

‘Sortie du port Honfleur Sun’

Entrance to the Port of Honfleur Windmill

Windmill near the water
Images from

Skaters at Dordrecht

View of Rouen
Images from


On the Beach at Sainte-Adresse
Images from

Jongkind never found true success during his lifetime. His situation became so dire in 1860 that a group of his friends joined forces for a benefit art sale to help the ailing Jongkind. Some believe that the near-starvation conditions of his life as well as his lack of success caused the artist to become mentally ill around this period. Fourcaud, who visited Jongkind frequently, said of the artist, when “he began to speak about his art his lucidity returned intact. His remarks on the state of the atmosphere and the luminous life of things often struck me by the inattendu, by their truth, and sometimes by the curious way they were expressed.” Fourcaud remembers the artist showing an immense portfolio of watercolors and how carelessly the artist handled his own work. When cautioned about ruining the pieces, Jongkind replied, “Bah! Nature gave me that, and if I want it she will give me ten times more.”
Jongkind continually studied the sun’s rays and the play of reflections as the light traveled across the landscape during the day. Though his works were not a commercial success during his lifetime, his study of the atmosphere and light influenced a number of more well-known impressionist artists of his time including, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Tryon, Diaz and Rousseau. Monet referred to him as a man of profound genius. He traveled frequently between Holland and France. He painted nature as he saw it in the form of watercolor sketches and paint his paintings from those sketches. His paintings, all signed and dated, provide a virtual itinerary of his travels. Based upon his paintings, it appears he was in Normandy in 1865 and in Holland in 1868.
In 1878 with his companion Joséphine Fesser, Jongkind moved to live in the small town of La Côte-Saint-André near Grenoble in the Isère département in the southeast of France where he died in 1891. He is buried there in the local cemetery. A street is named after him in the neighborhood of streets named after 19th and 20th century Dutch painters in Overtoomse Veld-Noord, Amsterdam. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Johann Jongkind left behind a legacy of landscape and marine oil paintings, watercolors and etchings. Many believe the simple and clean lines of his etchings make his works in this medium among the foremost of Dutch artists. He is considered an early Impressionist painter with strong ties to classical works. Sadly, as shortly as 10 months after his death, his paintings became highly sought after with prices for his paintings and etchings ranging from 40 to 200 times more than prices the he could sell them for. He typically earned only 3,000 francs a year but just a year after his death his Maas at Rotterdam sold for 28,000 francs and Canal at Brussels for 17,000 francs.

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