If Hendrik Kobell Jr had not jumped out of a window in a delirium at age 28, then today we would remember him as the most celebrated painter of his day.
Already as a little boy, in Rotterdam, he attempted to "draw, or cut from paper, the ships and barges, that he saw in the harbour of his hometown, or on the river that streamed through it” thus written by his biographers Van Eijnden and Van der Willigen. In 1770, Kobell entered a two year education at the Amsterdam Art Academy. Two years after finishing this education, he married in Delfshaven the daughter of a gin distiller The later cattle painter Jan Kobell II (1778-1814) was one of two sons from this marriage.
The fame of Hendrik Kobell junior is especially based on his beautifully worked out drawings and watercolours, which found their way into the collections of prominent collectors like Jacob de Vos and Cornelis Ploos van Amstel. It was only later in life, that the artist of drawings began to translate the fruits of his pencil into oil paintings, most probably first during his time in England during the second half of the 1770s. For this reason, paintings from his hand are of exceptional rarity. In1775, stadtholder Willem V acquired two of Kobells paintings for his gallery at the Buitenhof Square in the Hague. Of that Kobell pair, the pendant [pair of paintings designed to hang together] ’English Warschips and a Moroccon threemaster in distress during a thunderstorm off the North African coast’ is now part of the Rijksmuseum collection.
Wiepke Loos (ed.), Het Galante Tijdperk. Schilderijen uit de collectie van het
Rijksmuseum, 1700-1800, Zwolle 1995, pp. 74-75.
R. van Eijnden en A. van der Willigen, Geschiedenis der Vaderlandsche schilderkunst sedert de helft der XVIII eeuw, Haarlem 1816-1840, deel 2, pp. 373-76.
the Island Unrest
rare original colour
Het Eiland Onrust, naby Batavia