Johan Barthold Jongkind

Original Prints: Etchings


Now considered a key precursor of Impressionism, Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819 - 1891) came to Paris from the Netherlands in 1846 to study under Eugène Isabey*; despite critical acclaim by Baudelaire and Zola, his early efforts remained unsuccessful, and he shifted between Rotterdam and Paris. 

He frequented the artists of the school of Barbizon, and in Honfleur, Normandy, during the early 1860s, he met Eugène Boudin and the young Claude Monet, who astutely acknowledged Jongkind's formative influence: 

                "C'est à lui que je dois l'éducation définitive de mon œil."
                ["It is to him that I owe the definitive education of my eye."]

His alert vision of the interplay between light, cloud, and water, set over a low horizon in the classical Netherlandish style, was to define the canons of a revolutionary artistic movement.**

Though he only produced a few more than twenty etchings, these fine prints, mostly published by Cadart in Paris, and printed by Delatre, most often feature views of his native Netherlands, ever a  source of nostalgic inspiration. 

His seminal role in the development of French art however remained unrecognized in the late century, and he died despondent in the asylum at Saint-Égrève, in the Isère.


** Edmond de Goncourt, in his Journal (1871), wrote,

        "Tout le paysage qui a une valeur à l'heure qu'il est descend de ce peintre, lui emprunte ses ciels, ses atmosphères, ses terrains" 
        ["All landscape of value at present derives from this painter, borrowing his skies, his atmospheres, his grounds."]

Johan Barthold Jongkind, Soleil Couchant, Port d'Anvers, 1868, etching

Soleil Couchant, Port d'Anvers

[Sunset, Port of Antwerp]

Delteil 15.1, Melot 15.1

etching, 1868, the exceedingly rare first state (of 4), a superb impression, before all letters, on cream laid paper, with the Hudelist watermark, with good margins