De Hoog, Bernard (1867-1943)

De Hoog, Bernard (1867-1943)

Biography By Andy Shield

Dutch artist, Bernard De Hoog, produced a rich oeuvre of gentle interior scenes, which celebrated the everyday moments within family - particularly between mothers and their children. Newborns are cradled within their mother's arms while siblings read in rustic kitchens.

In many respects, De Hoog’s work is comparable to the great Dutch painter, Jozef Israëls (1924-1911) and ultimately rooted within the traditions of the Dutch masters. During his time studying under the eminent Jan van Essen, he produced numerous copies of old masters while honing his technique. 

It’s said that his career began through chance when working in an office for a merchant. Rather than figures in a ledger, the merchant discovered various sketches and drawings and was so impressed that he asked the young De Hoog to paint his wife. This, in turn, led to the artist’s tutelage under a drawing master and later, an academy.

When we look back across his body of work, the consistent thread is a celebration of simple family life and the instinctive love between a mother and child. Misty sentimentalism majestically described with an impressionistic touch.

In 1939, Do Hoog’s work was shown in an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Biography By Polly Pyke

Dutch artist Bernard de Hoog had an affinity for the good life. The easily found peace of a traditional, rural existence was an appealing subject for him in his many genre scenes. Focussing on depictions of the late 18th and early 19th century, de Hoog celebrated the simple pleasures, far away from the industrial boom and looming wars that were swamping Europe during his time.

At first, de Hoog was unable to pursue a career in art. Considered a far too unstable career, he was instead employed by a merchant for the less than thrilling employ of office work and ledger keeping. However, the merchant noticed his passion for art and commissioned a painting of his wife from de Hoog. He must have been impressed, for the merchant supported de Hoog in pursuing an artistic education.

This would see him attend the Quellinus School in Amsterdam and study under eminent artists Johannes Frederick Hulk (1828-1911) and Johannes Cornelis van Essen (1854-1936). From these two painters of landscapes and genre scenes, de Hoog would begin to cultivate his interest in scenes of traditional rural life. Studies of the great masters of the Dutch Golden Age, too, awarded him a healthy interest in studies of nature and the interaction between humankind and the living world. No more inspiration came for de Hoog, however, than from The Hague School.

The Hague School was a collective of artists operating in The Hague area of the Netherlands during the latter half of the 19th century. Taking their inspiration from the Dutch Golden Age, they rejected romanticism and the mythological themes of academic art. They instead focussed on painting from nature, taking much inspiration from the French Barbizon School. Realistic, rustic depictions of nature and country living were extremely popular, such as in the works of Jozef Israëls (1824-1911). De Hoog became hooked.

His works are extremely evocative of The Hague School Manner. Interiors of rural homes are sunken in earthen colours, the light that touches the walls batching them in swathes of ochres and umber. De Hoog often features mothers with their children as the focus, centring the light which falls, upon them. Their clothes are simple, traditional, yet de Hoog adds tinctures of colour with rich reds and blues dying the fabrics. Blossoming scenes of nature can often be seen beyond the windows, idyllic, appealing. On the occasions that de Hoog paints an exterior scene, nature is painted with an abrupt spontaneity which seemingly captures its spirit in that moment in time. Whilst these scenes are fictionalised, it does not seem as if there is anything synthetic to de Hoog’s depictions of nature.

De Hoog’s work performed very well in the Netherlands and across Europe. He also found buyers in the US and Canada. He exhibited his paintings often and they sold very well. This led him to becoming a prominent figure in the Netherlandish art scene. De Hoog became a member of the Arti et Amicitiae society, set up to support artistic enterprise in the Netherlands.

Today, examples of his work are held in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

1867

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1886

Debuted in Amsterdam with ‘During the Sermon in the new Church’.

1891

Became a member of Arti et Amicitiae society.

1892

Awarded The Willink van Collen Award.

1899-1902

Moved to Laren, Netherlands.

1934

Moved to The Hague, Netherlands.

1943

Died in The Hague, Netherlands.

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