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Johann Bernard Klombeck

Biography of Artist

Johann Bernard KLOMBECK

1815 - 1893

Johnann Bernard Klombeck was born in Germany on 1st July, 1815 and he was raised in the dukedom of Kleve, which is close to the Dutch boarder near Nijmagen. His father was the tailor Heinrich Klombeck (1873-1866) and his mother was Marianne Tinthoff (1777-1850) who was the half sister of the painter Matthais Tinthoff (1794-1881). Matthais specialised in portraiture and genre scenes and it was he who gave Johann Klombeck his first art training.

In 1834 the greatest Dutch Romantic landscape painter of all, B.C. Koekkoek, came with his wife to live in Kleve. In 1841 Koekkoek founded an Academy in Kleve and Klombeck and his uncle were among the first members. This was to have a most profound and lasting influence on Klombeck who came to be regarded as one of Koekkoek's finest pupils. Klombeck exhibited his landscapes at the Kleve Academy and also in Nijmagen. Between 1843 and 1856 he was a frequent participant in international salons, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Dresden and Berlin.

Klombeck became a leading member of the Romantic Scool and he was the foremost representative of the Kleve Academy when B.C. Koekkoek died in 1862. Romantic motifs, such as prominent trees and ruins, stormy weather and figures fighting against the elements, played an important part in Klombeck's oeuvre. Compositions with diagonal elements, such as tracks and streams disappearing into the background, are features strongly reminiscent of the works of Koekkoek and which Klombeck often featured in his paintings.The Belgian painter Eugène Verboeckhoven, with whom Klombeck worked from 1860 on, often added the cattle in his paintings.

In 1865 Klombeck was given an honorary post at the Craftsman's School in Kleve and he continued to exhibit until 1882. The artist died in Kleve on 28th November, 1893.

Museums: Amsterdam, The Hague, Kleve.

Literature: J.B. Klombeck by Guido de Werd & Angelika Nollert Netherland Painters 1750-1850 by P. Scheen