Barend Cornelis Koekkoek
11.10.1803 (Middelburg, The Netherlands) - 05.04.1862 (Kleve, Germany)
B.C. Koekkoek was born in Middelburg in 1803 and became one of the leading Dutch landscape painters of the Romantic period. In the studio of his father, a painter of river- and seascapes, he began painting at an early age. At the age of 13 he entered the local art school and took painting classes. With Royal support he was able to continue his studies at the Amsterdam Academy. After graduating in 1826 he left Amsterdam to be closer to nature. He travelled through the country and also made study trips to Italy and along the Rhine. In 1839 he was commissioned by the Prince of Orange (the later King William II) in order to paint a forest with cattle. A year later he earned the Gold Medal in Paris with this piece. Many (inter)national awards and honours followed. In 1841 Koekkoek founded his Drawing School in Kleve (Germany), which focused on landscape painting. The finely detailed paintings by Koekkoek have an almost unparalleled quality and typically feature woods, mountains and panoramic landscapes with heavy trees. He surpassed his contemporaries in the depiction of trees, branches and foliage. Remarkable is also the brilliant light play in his work; the angle of light always highlights a portion of the painting so the viewer's eye is automatically drawn there.
Betoverende landschappen, Hollandse meesters uit de negentiende eeuw, 20 Mar. - 19 Jun. 2011, Museum Jan Cunen, Oss