Johannes Evert Hendrik Akkeringaartist • painter • watercolourist • draughtsmanBlinjoe (Nederlands-Indië) 1861-1942 Amersfoort
biography of 'Johannes Evert' Hendrik Akkeringa
Portrait of 'Johannes Evert' Hendrik Akkeringa
Akkeringa, born in the Dutch East Indies in 1861 from a Dutch father and Javanese mother, came shortly after the death of his father in 1863 to The Hague where he would live most of his life. Here he grew up with his brother and sister in the household of an aunt.
At the age of 17 he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. Fellow students there were Willem de Zwart, Floris Verster and Marius Bauer.
Both literally and figuratively grown up with the traditions of the Hague School, Akkeringa was attracted to subjects around The Hague. The dune-rich area near Loosduinen - one of the last unspoilt areas of nature in the surroundings of the royal city - and the beach of Scheveningen were his source of inspiration. From his studio in Loosduinen, which he moved to in 1888, he painted sunny beach scenes with children playing digging holes, building sand castles or bathing their feet with the help of an older brother or sister. From the 90s there were also performances of fishermen, net-makers, bomber boats, horses and carts on the beach. Everything is painted with a fresh, impressionistic touch; idyllic paintings by Akkeringa do not tell about the bitter side of the fishermen's existence.
Later, around 1893, he moved into a house on the Canal near the Scheveningen Woods. There he painted children playing on an open sand plain, who went outside with their mothers or nannies on warm days. Around 1915 he also discovered the popular excesses and tea gardens such as Overbosch and Boschhek. The beautiful, carefree-looking performances with the 'tea hours' of the beau-monde from The Hague were created here. Akkeringa also painted refined flower still lifes and portraits, mostly of children from his immediate surroundings.
Akkeringa's work in tempered impressionist style always bears witness to an intimate and sometimes even tender character. It would never undergo radical changes. There is, however, one contemporary, kindred spirit and close friend, Willem de Zwart, who has influenced him. Jos de Gruyter compares the nature of both artists in his standard work on the Hague School. He talks about 'the rise and fall of the psychic barometer' of De Zwart - a more socially active artist - compared to Akkeringa, who is 'the quietness, the modesty, the moderation itself'.
From 1903 to 1924, Akkeringa had a permanent contract with the Amsterdam Kunsthandel E.J. from Wisselingh & Co. which he was assured of a monthly income. His work was not only exhibited in the Amsterdam and London branches, but also at international exhibitions in Europe and overseas. Not only was Akkeringa a well-known and beloved painter in his time, his paintings and watercolors are also highly appreciated today and his work is highly sought after.