Joseph August KNIP (Tilburg, 1777,– Berlicum, 1847)
View of an abbey in Italy
Oil on canvas
22 x 27 cm
Coming from a family of artists from Dutch Brabant, the young Knip went to Paris to improve in 1801; he realized topographical views and classical buildings, working under the protection of his compatriot the flower painter Gérard Van Spaendonck,
Thanks in part to the latter, the obtaining in 1808 of the Grand Prix of Rome of painting for the Dutch artists allowed him to go to Italy in November 1809; at the end of his stay in September 1812 he returned to Holland. He made a new Parisian stay of four years in 1823, but had to stop painting in 1832, blind as his father had been too. Knip was married in 1809 to natural history painter Pauline Rifer de Courcelles, met in the studio of Jacques Barraband, who was the protégé of Josephine and later became that of Marie-Louise; this unhappy union ended in divorce in 1824. Knip had a daughter, Henriette (1821-1909), who became a famous animal artist, specialized in cats.
Knip lived on the sale of his paintings, but also on the lessons he gave; he was thus the drawing teacher of the son of Louis Bonaparte (a time king of Holland), the future Napoleon III.
Knip’s work consists of landscapes and animal scenes (especially sheep), divided between oils, gouaches and watercolors.
We give him this painting, which at first glance may be reminiscent of Bertin, because of several elements that can be found in various works of his repertoire: the cloud bill, the presence of mountains treated in atmospheric perspective, the presence of small goats here treated in silhouettes (in relation to the small dimensions of the work) but with rather long horns. Similarly, the foliage (even if it is very thin and finally quite close to Bertin) are characteristic, whether they are bushy specimens or especially the less supplied one of the extreme right.
The place could not be identified, and it could be a recomposition.