Jan Simon Knikker (Leiden 1911 – The Hague 1990), known as Jan, was born in Leiden in 1911. He lived and worked in Wassenaar, after that in Voorschoten until 1937 and then in The Hague. Signed with Jan Knikker jr. Son or Jan Simon Knikker sr.
He was a student at the Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague (1928-1932) and of his father Jan Knikker Sr.
He painted summer, river and winter landscapes, still lifes and cityscapes in a figurative way in the style of the Hague School. He is therefore seen as a follower of the Hague School and he worked a lot for art dealers. Abroad his cityscapes are particularly sought after.
Although the Knikker family of painters and in particular Jan Knikker senior (Oude Jan) and Aris Knikker came from North Holland, the old and young Jan Knikker have become real Hague painters. Jan Knikker senior (Oude Jan), settled in The Hague around the turn of the century, where Jan Knikker junior was born in 1911 at De La Reykade, now La Reyweg. At the time, it was located on the outskirts of the city with a wide view of the landscape beyond. On this location, Oude Jan and junior could gain unlimited inspiration from their home to record their impressions of the great outdoors on linen. In their own words, modesty was foreign to them, Oude Jan and junior represented the well-known Hague School of Maris, Bosboom and Roelofs. That is why Jan Knikker junior stated in a newspaper interview that they focused on landscapes and cityscapes.
In the early years, it was not easy for father and son to sell their paintings. Anyone who could not get rid of their paintings had no food. Many paintings were sold through art dealers. Traders regularly ordered large numbers of paintings which they then took on consignment. They then often brought the paintings to an auction to sell them quickly, so that in the end little was left for the Knikkers. In the 1930s and 40s, a good painting cost around ten guilders.
The later Jan Knikker junior was a completely different man from the youthfull Jan Knikker junior. Although he still lived as a bon vivant, he did not dress in a manner that’s typical of that of an artist. Jan junior was always well dressed, looked neat, drank his drink at regular intervals and was very attached to his regular brand of cigars. In his last years in life, Jan Knikker junior still had assignments for years to come. Assignments that enabled him to enjoy the pleasures of life. Jan Knikker junior only worked during the day. He thought it was out of the question to paint in artificial light.
Info: Scheen, Benezit, RKD
oil on canvas
36.5 cm x 30 cm including frame, 24 cm x 18 cm excluding frame
In very good condition. Recently (2021) cleaned by a restoration workshop.