Johan Barthold Jongkind was born on 3 June 1819 in the town of Lattrop, Netherlands. Jongkind began his artistic training in 1837, studying at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague under Andreas Schelfhout. In 1846, he left for Paris to continue his development under Eugène Isabey and François-Édouard Picot. Two years later, Jongkind exhibited for the first time at the Paris Salon and in the summer of the same year was invited to Het Loo, the residence of the Dutch Royal family. The following year, in 1851, he began working with the dealer Adolphe Beugniet.
Jongkind remained in Paris until 1956, painting not only scenes of the city but travelling intermittently around the French countryside to paint, in particular, coastal landscapes and river views – subjects that would consume much of his career. Although popular amongst his literary and artist friends, including Gustave Courbet, Camille Corot and Charles Baudelaire, Jongkind’s increasingly avant-garde style would lead to periods of financial instability and subsequent alcoholism, driving him to return to the Netherlands, where he would settle in Rotterdam in 1856. He would eventually return to France in 1960, funded by an auction of his work alongside several of his artist-friends – including Gustave Doré, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Charles-François Daubigny – organised by Count Doria. The beginnings of his ‘Impressionist’ style would emerge in the early paintings of his second spell in Paris.
In 1862, Jongkind would meet Claude Monet, who would remark that his painting was too ahead of its time to be appreciated, and the two would become friends, sketching together in the harbour town of Honfleur in 1864. The year earlier, Jongkind would participate in the inaugural Salon des Refusés. Painting en plein air, Jongkind would inspire both Eugène Boudin and Camille Pissarro, yet in spite of the admiration from his artistic contemporaries he would struggle to receive critical appreciation from the Salon, which he would give up on altogether in 1873. From 1878 until his death, Jongkind would settle in Grenoble, dying from illness on 9 February 1891.
Jongkind’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Musée Van Gogh, Amsterdam; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Louvre, Paris; the National Gallery, London; the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
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