JOHANNES HERMANUS KOEKKOEK (Veere 1778 – Amsterdam 1851)
Ships in Stormy Seas off a Harbour Entrance with a Lighthouse
signed and dated J:H : Koekkoek./1821. in the lower right
oil on panel
15 ⅜ x 21 ¼ inches (38.9 x 54.1 cm.)
Born in the Netherlands, Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek originally worked in wallpaper and carpet factories before becoming an artist. He was self-taught and became a specialist in marine painting. Koekkoek was influenced by the work of Ludolf Bakhuizen (1631-1708), particularly in his palette, the use of specific compositional schemes, and in the way he depicted storms at sea. He was also influenced by the figures in the paintings of Joseph Vernet (1714-1789) and the manner in which these were positioned in the foreground. Koekkoek built ship models which he used for his compositions. He spent the first years of his career in Middelburg where he taught drawing, and lived in Durgerdam from 1826 to 1833, eventually settling in Amsterdam. Johannes Hermanus was the founder of the Koekkoek dynasty of painters. In 1803 he married Anna Koolwyk and had four sons, including Barend Cornelis, the best-known of all painters from the Koekkoek family, and Hendrik, who trod in his father’s footsteps to become a distinctive marine artist.
Paintings by Koekkoek are in the Museum Haus Koekkoek in Kleef as well as in the museums in Mainz, Munich, and Rotterdam (Boymans-van Beuningen).