Barend Cornelis Koekkoek was an outstanding Dutch painter of the 19th century, a prominent representative of romanticism. Barend Cornelis Kukkuk became famous for writing beautiful paintings depicting forest landscapes.
He belongs to a famous family dynasty of Dutch artists. A noticeable mark in European painting was also left by many of his other close relatives: his father and three younger brothers; wife and two daughters; four nephews and two great-nephews.
Biography of Barend Cornelis Koekkoek
Barend Cornelis Koekkuk was born on October 11, 1803 in Middelburg, located in the extreme southwest of the modern Netherlands. His father (an outstanding master of the landscape genre) instilled a love of art in his four sons and devoted a significant part of his life to teaching them the basics of painting.
Barend was the eldest child in the family and a very capable student. At 13, he began attending classes at the local art school. After leaving school in 1822, he entered the Amsterdam Academy of Painting. For four years of study under the guidance of Professor Jean-Augustin Dyvail, the young man received several prestigious awards. then he began an independent career and went to the province.
From time to time, young Kukkuk visited Amsterdam and brought with him paintings for sale, which were in great demand among buyers.
In the early 1830s, Barend made a number of trips around Europe, visiting various regions of Germany and Italy. The artist persistently searched for picturesque places with forests and ancient castles. Meanwhile, Kukkuk’s skill level has grown significantly. At the end of 1831 he became a member of the Rotterdam painters’ guild. A few months later he became a full member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
In 1833, the painter married 19-year-old Eliza Teresa Dywile, with whom he happily lived in marriage until the end of his life. His wife was also an artist, she painted still lifes with flowers and fruits. She was his faithful companion and assistant to her husband for many years. And a year after the wedding, they moved to the small German town of Kleve, where the young couple moved.
It was here that the Dutch master created his best masterpieces with views of the charming nature of Germany. Five daughters of the master were born in Kleve. In this city, he founded his own academy of landscape painting. He built a luxurious Italian-style mansion here, which now houses a memorial museum of his work.
Despite his enormous popularity in the artistic community, Koekkuk very rarely left Kleve. He received prestigious awards at international exhibitions and honorary awards for his contribution to European art.
Among his regular customers were many representatives of the highest nobility of the Old World. The works of Barend Cornelis Koekkoek adorned the personal collections of many rulers, including: King Frederick William IV of Prussia; Russian Emperor Alexander II; Dutch King Willem II.
From different parts of Europe, young painters came to Kleve, who, under the guidance of Kukkuk, studied at his private academy. The authoritative master lived in abundance and prosperity with his wife and children. This went on for almost 25 years, until in November 1858 the artist suffered a stroke.
From that moment on, the brilliant Dutchman was forced to leave painting, and his academy stopped its work. For the past few years, the artist has lived as a recluse surrounded by relatives, and on April 5, 1862, Barend Cornelis Koukkuk died in his luxurious home, not having lived even 60 years.