Henriëtte Ronner Knip Netherlands

5-31-1821 Amsterdam, NED - 3-2-1909 Brussels, BEL

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Knip, Henriëtte Ronner

Since the early age of five, Henriëtte Ronner-Knip showed a talent and disposition for drawing, and copied many studies and sketches from her father. Most of her early childhood drawings that are known were created during her stay in France with her family. After settling in the Netherlands, she began her artistic education under her father’s guidance at age eleven. When he lost his eyesight, Josephus decided to train his daughter seriously, as she would become responsible for providing income for the family.

Henriëtte Ronner-Knip learnt quickly, and began to create art works fast in order to sell them. By the time she was sixteen years old, she first exhibited her work at the annual art exhibition in Düsseldorf.

Around 1845 Henriëtte Ronner-Knip dedicated her works to animal scenes that depicted dogs, typically hunting dogs in forests and heath countryside. She began to receive critical praise at that time. That same year, they moved from Brabant to Brussels, Belgium, where she was to give birth to six children (two of them would become painters: Alfred Ronner 1852-1901, and Alice Ronner, 1857-1906.

Shortly after moving to Brussels, Henriëtte Ronner-Knip concentrated on painting images with dog carts, which was a common means of transportation by the less well-to-do farmers and peddlers during the nineteenth century. Henriëtte established her reputation as a dog painter, and subsequently received an increasing number of commissions from many distinguished patrons. Among them were the Kings of Hanover, Prussia, Portugal, and the Queen of Belgium as well as the Countess of Flanders who asked her to paint portraits of their dogs.

Despite her growing popularity, she continued to live modestly and eventually changed the subject matter of her paintings, which had initially contributed to her fame. Around 1870, she shifted her attention from painting dogs to cats. That change occurred when a cat found her way into her home, and Henriëtte Ronner-Knip’s curiosity was aroused.

Movement: Realism
Influences: Josephus Knip
Traveled: France, Belgium, Germany

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