13.01.1839 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - 29.01.1895 (Amstelveen, The Netherlands)
Willem Koekkoek was born in Amsterdam on January 13th, 1839 as the second son of Hermanus Koekkoek the Elder (1815-1882). The Koekkoek family is one of the most famous families in the history of Dutch art. It spans four generations and probably the most familiar one is B.C. Koekkoek (1803-1862), brother of Hermanus Koekkoek the Elder and therefore Willem’s uncle. Willem and his three brothers, Hermanus the Younger (1836-1909), Jan H.B. (1840-1912) and Barend Hendrik (1849-before 1909), who were also gifted painters, belong to the third generation of the Koekkoek family. Willem was originally trained as an architect, in which field he was very successful. It was not until 1878 that he took up the family tradition of painting. He received his training from his father, who was a talented marine painter. Unlike his father, Willem was attracted to a different genre. He is known for his extensive winter and summer town views and therefore he travelled widely in The Netherlands, painting and recording for history some of its loveliest towns. Gouda, Enkhuizen, IJsselstein and Breda are only a few examples. Born and raised in Amsterdam, he is recorded living in The Hague in 1878, back in Amsterdam in 1880 and in Nieuwe-Amstel (Amstelveen) from 1885 onwards, where he also died. In 1859 he held an exhibition in Leeuwarden and thereafter, from 1865 to 1894, exhibited regularly in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. His work was widely collected in Great Britain and culminated in a visit to London in 1888. Nowadays, Willem is still one of the most sought after members of the Koekkoek family. His work can be seen in the Amsterdam Historical Museum and the National Gallery in London.