Jongkind 1819-91




Johan Barthold Jongkind

1819 – 1891



Jongkind in Holland 1819-1846:
Johan Bartold Jongkind was born 1819/06/03 in Lattrop in Holland. He was the 8th of 10 children. His father worked at the costums. In 1820 the family moved to Vlaardingen. Around 1826 his father died and the family moved to Maassluis. In 1836 Jongkind moved to The Hague, worked as a clerk and followed drawing lessons. Jongkind later became a pupil at the art-workshop of Andreas Schelfhout, who stimulated his pupils to sketch en-plein-air.

Jongkind in France 1846-1855:
In 1846 Jongkind received a scholarship to join the art-workshop of Isabey in Paris (till 1849). Here he would meet Ziem, both had a studio in the Rue Bréda. Jongkind also attended the art-workshop of Picot, where he would meet his fellow Dutchmen Jozef Israëls and Kuytenbrouwer. Through the last he made acquintances with Barbizon painters like Diaz, Lapito, Rousseau and Troyon. Jongkind never would stay (or paint) in the surroundings of Barbizon. In 1848 Jongkind debuted at the Salon, which had no jury that year. He showed Un port de mer (CCP61).
Because of the 1848 revolution and a cholera outbreak Jongkind went to Holland. Here he also made watercolours of the falcon hunt with Andreas Schelfhout at ‘Het Loo’ palace. In 1849 Jongkind returned to France.
Jongkind mainly made city views of Paris, sea and harbour views and moon landscapes and exhibited these works at the Salon of 1848 (1x) + 1850/51 1x; bought by the state) + 1852 (2x; 3rd class medal) + 1853 (2x; 1x bought by the State). Though Jongkind was Dutch, 3 of his works were part of the French section at the Exposition Universelle of 1855. Though he received positive critiques, he didn’t receive a medal as several other landscape painters and the State didn’t purchase other works.

Early art-collectors that bought Jongkind’s work were Alfred Stevens and Emmanuel Sano. One of his art-dealers was Adolphe Beugniet, located at the Rue Lafitte. But most important was Père (Pierre-Firmin) Martin who was located at 20, Rue Mogador. Jongkind corresponded frequently with Martin. Père Martin also traded in art-works of Cals and Barbizon painters like Corot, Daubigny, Millet, Rousseau and Troyon. Jongkind and these other artists would meet at cafés near Rue Mogador and were called Cercle Mogador. Jongkind also frequented the artist café Divan le Peletier, where he would meet Courbet, Diaz, the writer Baudelaire and the photographer Nadar. Jongkind had an irregular lifestyle, frequented brothels, drank too much and accumulated debts. These debts and the disappointment about the Exposition Universelle made him deside to return to Holland again at the end of 1855.

Jongkind in Holland 1855-1860:
At the end of 1855 Jongkind returned to Holland. In the Summer of 1856 he settled at the Kruyskade in Rotterdam and stayed here for 3 years. He frequently would visit his sister in Klaaswaal and would paint here en-plein-air. He brushstroke loosened. In a painting made in 1857 depicting a Mill in Delft, Jongkind used a sort of juxta-posed brushstroke for the water.
He stayed in contact with Père Martin and Emmanuel Sano, who bought and sold his works. Jongkind was missed at the Salon of 1857. J. Rousseau descriped his paintings as made without embellishment. “He does not waste his time to make it slick, to prattle on, or to give it a Sunday jacket, in order to gain entry to the salons.” (R177,p28) In 1858 Jongkind would receive a 2nd class medal at the regional Salon in Dijon. At the Salon of 1859 he send in a Dutch landscape depicting a setting sun.
Jongkind drank heavily and heared voices in his head. Père Martin, the art-collector Count Doria and Cals had the idea of organising a benefit auction to make it possible for Jongkind to return to France. The auction was held 1860/04/07 at the Hôtel Drouot and consisted of 88+5=93 art-works, including works of Bracquemond, Cals, Colin and also Barbizon painters as Corot, Daubigny, Decamps, Diaz, Dupré, Flers, Harpignies, Jacque, Rousseau, Troyon, Ziem and Para-Impressionists like Rosa Bonheur, Breton, Brown.  The revenues consisted of 6046fr and were administrated by Père Martin. Subsequently Cals went to Holland to pick up Jongkind and to guide him to Paris (trying to avoid him drinking along the way).

Jongkind in France 1860-1874:
Back in Paris Jongkind would live till his death at 9, Rue de Chevreuse in Paris (note: the Salon database indicates he lived at number 5 and this was first noted in 1864; iR1). Jongkind was introduced to a married woman Mme. Joséphine Fesser-Borrhée and they became inseparable. She gave Jongkind stability in his life and together they travelled to Nevers, Lyon, Grenoble, Marseille and the Normandy coast namely in Trouville, Honfleur and Sainte-Adresse. In 1866 + 68 + 69, when his financial situation was improved, Jongkind would spent time in Holland with Mme Fesser, namely in Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
In September 1862 Jongkind would meet Boudin again in Trouville. Boudin later would say that he had profited from Jongkind (his paintingstyle). They also would meet several times at the inn Saint-Siméon in Honfleur, where also Bazille, Cals, Courbet, Monet and Baudelaire frequented. Monet later (in 1900) would say that it was Jongkind who his true teacher and that he definitively finished the education of his eye. They probably painted together in 1862 and Jongkind dined with Monet and his aunt Lecadre in Sainte-Adresse. Maybe Monet portrayed Jongkind in 1864 (R22,CR44); anyway Monet, Jongkind and Boudin met at Saint-Siméon around the 26th of August, according to a letter of Monet to Bazille. But I doubt if Money and Jongkind, who both depicted La Chapelle Notre-Dame de Grâce at Honfleur in 1864, did so side by side. The trees in the watercolour of Jongkind are more bare, it was made the 14th of September, the painting of Monet seems to be made earlier that Summer. According to a watercolour of Boudin, he, Jongkind and Monet again met at Saint-Siméon farm around 1867↓. Jongkind and Monet (and also Boudin and Cals) painted the same motives in Honfleur and Sainte-Adresse, but I think that some writers try too hard to see similarities.

From 1862 till 1867 Jongkind was a member of the Société des Aquafortistes; several of his etchings were published. In his 1st volume of Le peintre-graveur illustré (XIXe + XXe siècles; 1906) Loys Delteil renders 20 etchings of Jongkind all dated (between 1862-78). Delteil also mentions 2 etchings made between 1855 and 1860. (R138I;iR6;iR6).
(R177,p29-41+52-55;R22I,p39+40; R290,p197;R138I)

Jongkind and the Salon (1860-1874):
Jongkind was not present at the Salon of 1861. In 1862 he exhibited a landscape in Toulouse. In 1863 his 3 admissions for the Salon were rejected and they were exhibited at the Salon des Refusées (R177,p310; note: in the catalogue his is called Jean-Baptiste Jqngkind; (iR1). Jongkind himself wrote 1863/06/06 “my paintings are among the Refused and I have success” (R138I). Jongkind would yearly exhibited at the Salon from 1864-72. In 1864 two paintings (of Rotterdam and Honfleur); in 1865 one paintings (Rotterdam) and one etch (Honfleur); in 1866 two paintings (Honfleur); in 1867 two paintings (Rotterdam and Antwerp); in 1868 two paintings (Holland); in 1869 two paintings (Dordrecht and Rotterdam) and one etch (Antwerp); in 1870 two paintings (Dordrecht); in 1872 one painting (Dordrecht). In 1868 + 69 + 70 he exhibited ‘exempt‘.

On his works exhibited at the Salon of 1868 Zola reviewed “It are, so to say, hasty sketches, made out of fear to loose the first impression. (…) He suddenly sees a landscape in front of him, in it’s total reality and translateds it, while rendering the emotion he feels.” (R177,p36). Jongkind was not present at the Exposition Universelle in 1867, neither at the Salon of 1873. It is unclear if he had admitted works and was rejected. In 1874 two of his paintings were rejected. He than decided never to partake at whatever exhibition. Jongkind was invited by Boudin, Monet and Père Martin to join the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874, but Jongkind refused. Even though he was involved in 1872+1873 with initiatives for independant exhibitions apart from the Salon.(R177,p29-41+52;iR1)


Jongkind living withdrawn (1874-91):
After 1874 Jongkind withdraw from the artistic life in Paris. He moved with Mme Fesser to La Côte-Sainte-André, about 550km south-east of Paris in the department Isère and the former county / province Dauphiné (iR3). Jongkind painted in the Dauphiné area between Lyon and Grenoble and also in Marseille.
1891/02/09 Jongkind died in La-Côte-Saint-André (Isère). 1891/12/07+08 there was an auction of his works at Hôtel Drouot. Monet (indirectly) bought 2 paintings and 2 watercolours.
It seems that Jongkind was a shy person and that he spoke badly french.

Jongkind using juxta-posed brushstrokes:
The use of juxta-posed brushstrokes is an important characteristique of the Impressionist painting style. It is also based on the theories of Charles Blanc, who introduced (1867) the term ‘mélange optique‘, the idea that colours applied separately to the canvas blend in the viewer’s eyes. In the late Summer of 1869 Monet and Renoir painted together in La Grenouillère and they first used a juxta-posed brushstroke, namely to depict the vibration of the water. But at several paintings of Jongkind we also see (more or less) this juxta-posed brushstroke when depicting the water. He already did so in 1857, so 12 years earlier than Monet and Renoir.

Jongkind depicting moonlight:
Jongkind depicted throughout his career many moonlandscapes.

Jongkind as an artist:
In his early paintings Jongkind often rendered many details and his brushstroke was more smooth. But 1855 his brushstroke loosens and around 1857 he also started to use juxta-posed brushstrokes↑. In 1868 Zola wrote: ‘His work seems like rough sketches put down in haste for fear of losing the first impression.’ (R59, p186)
Jongkind often repeated the same motives through the years. Sometimes you have to look more carefully to discern one painting from another. Motives that return are moonlight landscapes↑, harbours (of Honfleur, Rotterdam, Dordrecht), skating in Holland, the quays of  Paris. There are several sketchbooks known of Jongkind (iR23). In his drawings and watercolours (and sometimes in his paintings) Jongkind is very precise in the dating (R177,p45;iR23). He also dated most of his paintings. It seems that he used his earlier sketches to repeat his motives (R177,p45), this would mean they weren’t made en-plein-air.
Many contemporary artists highly regarded Jongkind. When can see this in the many partakers in the benefit auction in 1860. Boudin and Monet later explicitly acknowledged the influence of Jongkind. Posthumous (1899/05/15 – 06/10) there was an exhibition at Durand-Ruel called Tableaux et Aquarelles de Jongkind (aR1=iR19;iR6). Moreau-Nélaton (1918=aR3) and Signac (1927=aR4) wrote a book on Jongkind. Signac namely rendered and discussed the drawings, etchings and watercolours made by Jongkind.
Note: Jongkind his name is often wrongly written. His first name as Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Berthold. His last name as Ionckind, Jonckind, Jonckind, Yongkind and Yonking. (iR1;R138I;M5a)


Jongkind as a Pre-Impressionist:
Note: info will be added in the future.


My main sources are Bodt /Sillevis / Lobstein / Tapié / Noortwijk (2017=R177), Hefting (1975=R113=CR), Stein (2003=Rx=CCP). Other main sources are Delteil  (Vol. I, 1906=R138/iR40). My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the-Athenaeum (iR21), Wikimedia (iR6),  and Google Images (iR10). Musea with works from Jongkind: the Metropolitan (=M23). The locations link to Google maps (iR9). For other general references (=R) see. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

For further reading:
Cunningham, Charles C. et al: Jongkind and the Pre-Impressionists: Painters of the École Saint-Siméon. Exhibition catatalogue, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton. Williamstown, 1977. (=R327)
Stein, Adolphe, Sylvie Brame, François Lorenceau and Janine Sinizergues: Jongkind, Catalogue critique de l’oeuvre, peintures, Vol. I, Paris, 2003  (=CCP)

Additional references (=aR):

  1. (PDF of Exhibition catalogue at Durand-Ruel 1899; =iR19;iR6)
  2. (website Dans les pas de Jongkind en Dauphiné with extended info in French)
  3. E. Moreau-Nélaton: Johan Berthold Jongkind, raconté par lui-même. Paris, 1918. Republication in 2004; (R177,p216)
  4. (online version of Signac: Jongkind. Paris, 1927; =iR40;R177,p41.)
  5. (article in German on developments preceding the ‘impressionist’ expositions and also on Jongkind; =iR59)
  6. x


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