Wokingham Today


Let’s go Dutch! Explore a master of watercolou­r


CUCKOOS are well known for being somewhat destructiv­e to their host families, but not in the case of our artist this week. Our painting of the week this week was painted by “a cuckoo”!

What could he possibly mean? I hear you ask. How could a cuckoo paint a picture?

The artist of this beautifull­y atmospheri­c Dutch watercolou­r is Hermanus Koekkoek II and I am reliably informed, by a Dutch friend of mine that his surname is pronounced something like “cuckoo”.

Hermanus Koekkoek Snr was a well-known listed Dutch artist and he of course encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps, which he did and the boy became even more successful than his father, becoming a listed artist not only in his native Holland but also here in his adopted home of the UK.

But in order to avoid any confusion, at a very early stage, the younger man decided to paint under a couple of pseudonyms. He painted his pictures, mostly of Dutch seaside or canal side scenes and signed them either as L van Staaten or more prolifical­ly as Jan van Couver.

Koekkoek was born on 8th December 1836 in Amsterdam and was largely taught to paint by his father.

Having embarked on a successful painting career, between 1859 and 1869 he travelled back and forth between Holland and England, eventually settling in London in 1869. He passed away in 1909 at the age of 73. He was buried in Den Haag, Holland. He painted in both oils and watercolou­rs and many of his works sit in very impressive collection­s worldwide.

Hermanus Koekkoek Juniors work is very distinctiv­e and became highly collectibl­e, particular­ly among the ex-pat Dutch here in the UK and the USA.

Many of his paintings have regularly achieved over £2,000 at auction, with his peak being . This painting is in stock at my shop at Holme Grange Shops at a fraction of that value.

The art market is quite low at the moment making paintings like this very affordable and a pretty good investment.

The painting is an original 19th Century watercolou­r of a canal side scene with a windmill on the canal walls to the right-hand side of the picture, with a number of boats moored alongside the canals walls. One of the boats has a sailor on board making it ready to go out to sea, despite a threatenin­g looking cloudy sky. The painting, given its age, has retained its colour and sharpness really well.

This painting is available currently in my showroom or online and is a snip at only £850. This great original painting, along with many others, is available to view and purchase at AntiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at www.antiqart.co.uk.

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