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Johan Barthold Jongkind
(Latrop 1819 - 1891 Côte St. André)

“Le Port du Tréport, le Matin, en Normandie”

Oil on canvas
106 x 170 cm
signed and dated 1851 (l.l.)
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Notes

This painting has been in a private collection for over 60 years. It will be on view in Museum De Hallen in Haarlem for the exhibition to be named ‘Reiskoorts bij Nederlandse kunstenaars sinds 1850’ (Wanderlust amongst Dutch Artists since 1850) in May-September 2016.

At the Salon de Paris 1852, this painting was exhibited by the artist together with ‘Saint-Valery-en-Caux’, now in the Kröller-Muller Museum in Holland. Both paintings were awarded a medal at the occasion.

 Johan Barthold Jongkind is regarded today as the most important precursor of Impressionism. His talent was recognized early and he was much admired by his peers. He had a major influence on his contemporaries yet remained largely uninfluenced by others.

Jongkind’s beginnings were unpropitious, the son of a notary, he was expected to take the same career, but on his father’s death he made the descicion to become an artist. He went to The Hague where he studied under Andreas Schelfhout who encouraged him to make watercolour sketches out of doors as a starting point for canvases painted in the studio. This laid the foundations for Jongkind’s art; he quickly proved adept at the technique of watercolour and for the rest of his life he excelled at this medium and he filled copious sketchbooks recording his travels. In Holland he came to the attention of his first patron, Leopold van Bronckhorst, secretary to Prince William of Orange. In 1843 Van Bronckhorst and Schelfhout negotiated a royal scholarship to allow Jongkind to study in Paris. He was introduced to Eugène Isabey when he visited Holland in 1845 and it was decided that he should enter the renowned atelier of his master.

In Paris, Jongkind’s subject matter consisted mainly of street scenes and marines. His work was accepted at the Salon of 1848. Unfortunately, his unstable character led him astray and he took to drinking and living a dissipated life, frequenting the Paris night scene. Isabey took him to the coast in 1850 and 1851, partly to take him away from the distractions of Paris. He earned a third class medal at the 1852 Salon but his failure to receive any recognition at the 1855 Exposition Universelle precipitated a serious bout of depression and Jongkind returned to Holland.

Unable to find clients or dealers interested in his work he went from bad to worse and in 1860 his concerned friends in Paris decided to put together a plan to bring him back to that city. Corot, Bonvin, Diaz, Daubigny, Rousseau and many others organized a sale of their work to raise the funds and Cals went to fetch Jongkind with the sum raised. They were able to install him in a studio with the results of their efforts and his life was further stabilized by his meeting with Madame Josephine Fesser. Although married, she became his constant companion for the next thirty years, the two often living with Monsieur Fesser right up until his death and Jongkind became very close to Mme Fesser’s children.

An artist herself, she became his pupil and the two of them made extensive trips in France and abroad sketching the various landscapes.

In 1862, Jongkind met and befriended Boudin, Monet and Baudelaire in Trouville and his technique had a major impact on the work of the two artists. Jongkind’s technique was becoming increasingly free and this perhaps led to his rejection at the Salons of 1861 and 1862. In 1863 his work hung at the Salon des Refusés alongside that of Edouard Manet, Fantin-Latour and Whistler. The following year he was accepted at the Salon and he enjoyed a period of public popularity and financial success. However, following rejection from the 1873 Salon he resolved to give up the official exhibitions. From 1880 he lived happily in Côte-Saint-André in a house belonging to Mme Fesser’s son Jules. In 1882 the dealer Detrimont held a successful one-man exhibition of Jongkind’s work.

Provenance

Huinck & Scherjon, Amsterdam; Martin B. Asscher, London, 1949; bought by Douwes Fine Art; sold to a private Dutch collection in Leeuwarden, 1950’s and in the same collection ever since; sold via Douwes Fine Art in 2016.

Exhibitions

Paris, Salon of 1862; Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, ‘Fantasie en Werkelijkheid’, 1967, cat. no.79; Enschedé, Rijksmuseum Twenthe,  ‘J.B. Jongkind’, April-May 1971, cat. no.8, with ill; Leeuwarden, Fries Museum, ‘Van Jan Steen tot Jan Sluijters, ‘De smaak van Douwes’, 1998/99, cat. no. 37, with ill.; Museum De Hallen, Haarlem, May-September 2016, exh. cat. ‘Reiskoorts bij Nederlandse kunstenaars sinds 1850’, p.90

Literature

Moreau-Nélaton, 1918, on p. 19; C. Gottlieb, Burlington Magazine, CIX, 1967, p.458, with ill.; V. Hefting ‘Jongkind’, 1974, no. 91, p. 84: V. Hefting ‘Jongkind d’après sa correspondence’, p. 9; Collection catalogue ‘Schilderijen Kröller-Muller’, p. 157; A. Stein, ‘Jongkind’, peintures, Paris 2003, cat. no. 85, p. 89, with ill.

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