Hermanus Koekkoek sr, the youngest son of marine painter Johannes Hermanus, succeeded his father as a marine painter when his older brother Johannes died in 1831. In 1832 one could see a ‘churning water’ of him for the first time at the Exhibition of Living Masters in Amsterdam, and here it appeared that his left-handedness did not hinder his talent. Hermanus Sr was born in Middelburg, then lived in Durgerdam on the Zuiderzee, and then moved to Amsterdam in 1832 or 1833. There he had a very successful career as a painter of sea, beach and river views for fifty years. Ships in stormy weather, on scribbling waves or on crystal-smooth water were his specialty. He also painted some wooded landscapes. In Hermanus’ work, the influence of father Johannes Hermanus is evident in the detailed depiction of the vessels, the characterful drawing of the water and the lively, narrative upholstery. With a fine brushstroke and the same eye for detail, he painted the daily life of the fishermen on the ships. Buyers loved such realistic details at the time. Like his father, he sold a lot of work abroad, especially to England. In addition to the Zeeland waters, the painter also found inflow in and around the Zuiderzee, the current IJsselmeer, which was then busy with professional ships and offered a completely different look than now. He taught the painting trade to his sons Hermanus Jr, Jan H.B. Koekkoek and Willem, and also taught in Amsterdam the later marine painter Willem Gruyter Jr, who was only two years younger than him.
– with Thomas Agnew & Sons, London;
– sale London, Christie’s, November 1974;
– sale London, October 1999;
– with Kunsthandel A.H. Bies, Eindhoven, 2000, where acquired by the present owner and shown by Bies at TEFAF 2006.