Johan-Barthold JONGKIND (1819-1891)

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Selection of works by Johan-Barthold Jongkind
currently available

Johan-Barthold Jongkind L'étoile du Nord, restaurant champêtre à la porte d'Orléans 1887 Watercolor 10,6 x 19,5 cm
Johan-Barthold Jongkind
L’étoile du Nord, restaurant champêtre à la porte d’Orléans
1887
Watercolor, 10,6 x 19,5 cm

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Johan-Barthold Jongkind, forerunner of impressionism

Considered as one of the early initiators of impressionism, less well known than some of his contemporaries, Johan-Barthold Jongkind is actually the man who made the link between Corot and Monet who he taught. We must admit that the student has eclipsed his master.

Between the Netherlands and Paris

Johan-Barthold Jongkind was born in the Netherlands but spent most of his career in France. After training at the Hague, in the workshop of the painter Schelfhout, he moved to Montmartre in Paris in 1846 and became a pupil of Eugène Isabey. He won a medal at the Salon of 1852 but lost a income he had from Guillaume III King of the Netherlands.

Disappointed not to get a new award at the Salon of 1855, he left Paris and returned to Rotterdam. But this “exile” in his own country was of short duration as anger is an injury to pride and also for financial reasons (in the meantime, he got the support of Queen Sophie who unlike her royal husband, helped the painter). In 1860 Jongkind returned to Paris and moved to Montparnasse and in that same year met Ms. Fesser who shared his life.

To the sources of impressionism

The following years were rich, he exhibited with the painters of the Barbizon school and worked significantly but unlike the future impressionists, he completed paintings in his studio based on his sketches and watercolours that he had been able to paint outdoors. This difference did not exclude him from the admiration of Boudin and Monet, for whom he paved the way. When he discovered the Dauphiné during a trip in August 1873, he decided to organise long stays there to set up his easel.

From 1878 onwards he sometimes visited La Côte Saint-André for long stays – a village famous for being the birthplace of Hector Berlioz. Retired and leading a peaceful life, far from material contingencies and official commissions, he produced a large number of watercolours of landscapes and portraits of the peasants who were his neighbours. Nevertheless, tired and highly sensitive, Johan-Barthold Jongkind was admitted to Saint-Egreve where he died on February 9, 1891 aged 72. His marines, coastal scenes, Dutch, Norman or Breton subjects, continue to attract fans today by their crispness.