Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch Netherlands
6-19-1824 The Hague, NED – 3-24-1903 The Hague, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch, also known as Jan Hendrik. He came from an artistic family. His father Johannes, a chef and restaurateur, painted in his free time and collected art on a small scale. Johannes' cousin Jan (1822–80) was a well-known painter of townscapes. Another cousin Frederik Hendrik (1828–87) was a lithographer, while his younger brother Frederik Johan, his uncle Daniel and his nephew Isaac (1826-1912) were all engravers.
When Jan Hendrik was sixteen years old he received drawing lessons from Johannes Low. In 1843, he took evening classes taught by Bartholomeus van Hove at the Hague Academy of Art. During the day Weissenbruch worked in Van Hove's studio, together with Johannes Bosboom and Samuel Verveer, helping to make pieces of scenery for the Royal Theatre.
Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch's early work showed the strong influence of the romantic painter Andreas Schelfhout. Schelfhout's influence can be seen in Weissenbruch's early landscapes, painted in precise detail. His magnificent, cloudy skies show his admiration for the seventeenth-century artist Jacob van Ruisdael, whose work he saw at an early age in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. When he was invited to take lessons from this very celebrated artist, his older friend, Bosboom, advised him not to accept. In 1847, Weissenbruch first exhibited at the exhibition of Living Masters, and he became one of the founders of the Pulchri Studio.
In 1849, two years after Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch staged his first exhibition, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem acquired one of his panoramic landscapes. However, that early success did not last very long. In spite of the prestige he had earned among his colleagues, he did not achieve public acknowledgement until the late 1880s.
Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch enjoyed working outdoors in the countryside. He usually found his subjects in the area around The Hague where he lived, rarely going far from home. However, in 1900, at the age of seventy, he took a trip to Barbizon where he painted his famous forest scene. The journey to Barbizon must have been a kind of pilgrimage for him, since it was in this area that French painters, in around 1830, had first begun to paint in the open air on a large scale.
Art Movement: Realism
Influences: Johannes Low, Bartholomeus van Hove, Andreas Schelfhout