Brother of the landscape painter Willem Tjarda van Starckenborgh Stachouwer and descendant of a noble family from Groningen. He probably received his painting training at the Amsterdam State Academy. Before his departure to Düsseldorf in 1852, Jacobus Nicolaas lived in Arnhem for a number of years, how long is not known. In 1849-'50 he travels through North America and in 1856-'57 he stayed temporarily in Kleve. It is not inconceivable that he came into contact here with B.C. Koekkoek, who had his drawing academy here. From 1890 Tjarda van Starckenborgh Stachouwer lived in Wiesbaden. His oeuvre mainly consists of landscapes, including German, Swiss and American. The painter exhibited his work in the period 1852-1892 at the annual Exhibitions of Living Masters in Amsterdam and The Hague. He signed with J.N. from Starkenborgh.