Jacob Henricus Maris
25.08.1837 (The Hague) - 07.08.1899 (Karisbad, Czech Republic)
Born in 1837 as the eldest of three children, Jacob Maris began his training at the age of twelve in the studio of genre painter Johannes Stroebel (1821-1905). Besides learning the profession, Maris copied old drawings, lithographs and watercolour drawings of still-lifes. From 1850 until 1854 he attended classes at the Academy of The Hague, after which he left for the Academy of Antwerp to study under the tutelage of Hubert "Huib" van Hove (1814-1864), who had taught him earlier at the Hague Academy. His younger brother Matthijs joined him in Paris and they shared their workshop and house, where they worked together on small paintings based on 17th-century Dutch genre scenes for the English and American markets.
After returning to The Hague in 1857, Maris worked in the studio of the famous marine painter Louis Meijer. Though still young, Jacob performed tiresome duties for his master, such as cutting out swallows and sea gulls drawn on paper for Meijer to use for arranging the details of his pictures. These paper birds were fixed to the canvas with small pins, and could easily be moved to help decide the most advantageous positions. Besides these arduous tasks Maris found time to paint independently and occasionally sold his work.
In 1865 he left the studio for Paris, where he studied under Ernest Hébert and painted among others a series of elegant Italiennes, which were very popular at that time. During his stay in Paris he became acquainted with the well-known painters Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) and Camille Corot (1796-1875) and was inspired by the French School of Barbizon.
Throughout his life Maris kept in touch with his brother Matthijs, who had moved to London in 1877, through frequent letter-writing. Many of these letters are in the collection of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem and play an important role in understanding the life of Jacob Maris.
Betoverende landschappen, Hollandse meesters uit de negentiende eeuw, 20 Mar. - 19 Jun. 2011, Museum Jan Cunen, Oss, The Netherlands
Work by Jacob Henricus Maris is represented in the collections of almost all major Dutch Museums.