Jacob Hendricus Maris (August 25, 1837 – August 7, 1899) was a Dutch painter, who with his brothers Willem and Matthijs belonged to what has come to be known as the Hague School of painters. He was considered to be the most important and influential Dutch landscape painter of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His first teacher was painter J.A.B. Stroebel who taught him the art of painting from 1849 to 1852. Jacob Maris’s most known works are the series of portraits of the royal House of Orange, he worked on these with his brother Matthijs Maris. He is also known for landscapes such as Ship on the Scheveningen beach.
He was born in The Hague. When he was twelve he took some art lessons and later enrolled in the Hague Academy of Art. from 1850 to 1853 he attended this highly ranked art University. An art dealer recognized his talent and saw to it that Jacob was able to work in the studio of Hubertus van Hove. There he painted interiors as well as figurative and genre works. Van Hove took Maris under his wings and was not only his boss but also his new teacher.
Van Hove moved to Antwerp and the nineteen-year-old Maris went with him. This relationship continued until his brother Matthijs received a royal subsidy and joined Jacob. Together they rented space which also had room for their friend Lawrence Alma-Tadema. They took lessons at the Antwerp Academy and were able to sell some of their works. After this he traveled through Germany, Switzerland and France in 1861.
Like many of the Hague School alumni, Jacob Maris had enormous success in the Netherlands and abroad. He sold the biggest part of his paintings to private collectors in the United States and in Scotland.
In The Hague, he became a strong landscape painter painting rivers and landscapes with mills and towpaths, and beach views with fishing boats. His stroke became broader and larger and his use of color became more subdued and directed towards portraying the atmospheric depiction of clouds. This part of has been compared to the seventeenth-century painters Jan van Goyen, Jacob Van Ruisdael and Johannes Vermeer.
Philippe Zilcken said about Jacob Maris: “No painter has so well expressed the ethereal effects, bathed in air and light through floating silvery mist, in which painters delight, and the characteristic remote horizons blurred by haze; or again, the grey yet luminous weather of Holland, unlike the dead grey rain of England or the heavy sky of Paris.”
This painting is a perfect example of his skill and shows us a ship at riverbank bathing in light and floating silvery waters.
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