Philips Koninck

Dates1619 - 1688
BornAmsterdam, The Netherlands
DiedAmsterdam, The Netherlands

Philips Koninck's peers admired his portraits, literary subjects, and genre scenes, but today he is best known for his landscapes. Born to a wealthy Amsterdam goldsmith, he apprenticed in Rotterdam with his elder brother around 1637 and by 1641 returned to Amsterdam. There he may have been a pupil of Rembrandt van Rijn, and Koninck's early work shows Rembrandt's influence. Koninck was well-to-do; he owned a shipping company and an inn, and his wife owned a ferry service.

By the early 1650s Koninck was painting his distinctive composition, the imaginary Dutch panorama. He rarely depicted a recognizable location. His landscapes are flat, seen from a high viewpoint under an enormous sky, with a river or road winding towards the horizon and patterns of light and dark throughout. Their evocative power of space, light, and shadow is paramount. In the 1660s, Koninck's landscapes evolved into a combination of panoramas and park landscapes populated by pastoral types and elegant folk. After 1676 Koninck, an esteemed member of Amsterdam's middle class, probably stopped painting, though his reputation reached far beyond Dutch borders. Art dealers consulted him on the attributions of paintings. Nearly three hundred drawings and eight landscape etchings by Koninck survive today.