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Johan Bernard and Eugene Klombeck and Verboekhoven

1815 - 1893 & 1798 - 1881

Johnan Bernard Klombeck was born in Germany on 1st July, 1815 and he was raised in the dukedom of Kleve, which is close to the Dutch boarder near Nijmagen. His father was the tailor Heinrich Klombeck (1873-1866) and his mother was Marianne Tinthoff (1777-1850) who was the half sister of the painter Matthais Tinthoff (1794-1881). Matthais specialised in portraiture and genre scenes and it was he who gave Johann Klombeck his first art training.

In 1834 the greatest Dutch Romantic landscape painter of all, B.C. Koekkoek, came with his wife to live in Kleve. In 1841 Koekkoek founded an Academy in Kleve and Klombeck and his uncle were among the first members. This was to have a most profound and lasting influence on Klombeck who came to be regarded as one of Koekkoek's finest pupils. Klombeck exhibited his landscapes at the Kleve Academy and also in Nijmagen. Between 1843 and 1856 he was a frequent participant in international salons, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Dresden and Berlin.

Klombeck became a leading member of the Romantic Scool and he was the foremost representative of the Kleve Academy when B.C. Koekkoek died in 1862. Romantic motifs such as prominent trees and ruins, stormy weather and figures fighting against the elements, played an important part in Klombeck's oeuvre. Compositions with diagonal elements, such as tracks and streams disappearing into the background, are features strongly reminiscent of the works of Koekkoek and which Klombeck often featured in his paintings.

It is thought that Klombeck was introduced to the great Belgian animal and figure painter Eugene Verboeckhoven by B.C. Koekkoek, who had himself collaborated with the artist in 1844. Klombeck first worked with Verboeckhoven in 1856 and frequently did so thereafter. This painting, dated 1859, was painted when both artists were at the height of their careers. Klombeck's landscape offers a wealth of traditional motifs and detail and the figures and animals have been exquisitely executed by the acknowledged master of that genre, Eugene Verboeckhoven.

In 1865 Klombeck was given an honorary post at the Craftsman's School in Kleve and he continued to exhibit until 1882. The artist died in Kleve on 28th November, 1893.

Museums: Amsterdam, The Hague, Kleve.

Literature: J.B. Klombeck by Guido de Werd & Angelika Nollert Netherland Painters 1750-1850 by P. Scheen

Eugene Verboeckhoven was born in Warneton, Belgium in 1798. He was the son of Barthelemy Verboeckhoven the sculptor, who was his first teacher. At the Academy of Ghent, Verboeckhoven studied under Voituran and Ommeganck. He became a member of the Academies of Belgium, Antwerp and St. Petersburg and made his debut at the Salon in Ghent in 1820. Verboeckhoven won many distinctions: the Legion d'honneur, the Order of Leopold, the Order of the Christ of Portugal and the German Iron Cross.

Verboeckhoven was one of the most celebrated animal artists of the 19th century. His work was of fine detail and his palette was rich and luminous. He portrayed figures, sheep, cows, goats, dogs, hens and horses with equal skill and his expertise was in demand from the many students who attended his atelier in Brussels. Contemporary established artists of the period also sought his expertise. He collaborated with many successful artists, amongst them J.B. Klombeck, B.C. Koekkoek, F.M. Kruseman, De Jongh, De Noter, M.A. Koekkoek and L.P. Verwee. Internationally renowned, Verboeckhoven's work was especially appreciated in England where many of his paintings can be found. He died in Brussels in 1881.

Museums: Wallace Collection, London, Liverpool, Leeds, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg, Munich, Montreal, Stockholm. Back to list