Johannes Bosboomartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanDen Haag 1817-1891
biography of Johannes Bosboom
Portrait of Johannes Bosboom
Johannes Bosboom, born in The Hague in 1817, was more connected to the first half of the 19th century than to the second. At a young age he turned out to have a great drawing talent. At the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to his cousin the urban painter Bart van Hove and enrolled in the Drawing Academy in The Hague. During his apprenticeship with Van Hove, in which he and theater students also painted stage sets, he learned about architecture and architectural styles and developed an interest in painting churches and church interiors. Around the age of twenty, he decided to devote himself entirely to that. His watercolors and paintings show tranquil church interiors, populated by figures in 17th-century clothing, inspired by the light and atmosphere in the work of 17th-century painters Rembrandt and Emanuel de Witte. The masterful way in which he incorporated the light into his church interiors made him one of the most important European painters in this genre in his time.
From the mid-1960s we see Bosboom, influenced by Rembrandt, increasingly focusing on the rendering of light and color impressions of the church interior with a broad and mobile brush. The importance of the accurate representation of the architecture was pushed into the background in favor of the atmosphere. After 1880, Bosboom focused almost exclusively on watercolor painting. That he was a true master in this was demonstrated by the high awards he received in Belgium.
Bosboom married the like-minded, faithful Geertruida Toussaint, a well-known writer of historical novels in her time. Often there were financial concerns because both Geertruida's family and those of Bosboom had to be supported. The marriage was, despite difficult periods in which Bosboom hardly came to work because of depression and the writer was under great pressure of work, very happy.
Bosboom was a member of Pulchri Studio, the Arti Sacrum Society (Rotterdam) and the Hollandsche Teekenmaatschappij (The Hague). He was a teacher of Marie Bilders-van Bosse and the famous animal painter W.F. the hare. His colleagues saw him as an authority, not only because of his talent but also because of his dedication to colleagues