Hendrik Johannes (‘J.H.’) Weissenbruch important painter of The Hague School

Hendrik Johannes (‘J.H.’) Weissenbruch important painter of The Hague School

Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch is descendant from a Hague family with a great artistic interest. His father is an art-collector and an amateur painter, his cousin Jan is a painter of cityscapes. From a very early age on, Weissenbruch frequents the Hague museum of the Mauritshuis where he studies and copies seventeenth century paintings by the likes of Vermeer and Van Ruysdael.

Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch is one of the most important painters of the Hague School. He mostly finds his inspiration outdoors, in nature. He generally crafts some plein-air charcoal sketches, which, lateron back in the atelier, serve him as a basis for his paintings and watercolours. Weissenbruch like no other, knows how to capture the atmosphere of the polder planes, landscapes so typical for The Netherlands.

This attractive panel, Horseman on the hunting path near Noorden, is a typically Dutch scene. Weissenbruch has painted it on several occasions, and also executed it in watercolour. On a path in the moorlands of Noorden, a small hamlet near the Nieuwkoopse Plassen, a farmer rides his horse. We see the windmill behind him from afar. From 1882, Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch, like many artists, spends his summers in Noorden. This watery area is a main source of inspiration for him. He feels at home, artistically also. And from that moment on, his audience grows. The low standpoint gives center stage to the impressive sky with its dominating clouds. Weissenbruch always took great care to express the light and skies in his paintings. He once said: ‘The sky in the painting, that is the thing! The main matter! Light and air, those are the great wizzards. The skies determine the paintings. Painters cannot study the sky enough.’