THE FROZEN RIVER JAN JACOB SPOHLER 1811 – 1866 Oil on canvas 22 ¾ x 31 ½ inches Framed size 30 ¾ x 39 ½ inches Signed & dated (18)60
Jan Jacob Spohler was born in Nederhorst den Berg, Amsterdam on 7 November 1811.He went on to study art under Jan Willem Pieneman at the Amsterdam Academy and in 1845 became a member of the Koninklijke Academie in Amsterdam. Spohler specialized in painting town scenes and Dutch Winter and Summer landscapes.He managed to capture the atmosphere of his subjects and small groups of figures are often found in his paintings, which give a delightful insight in to the working life of the people. There is usually a great sense of interaction between the figures in his paintings. His winter scenes with the sledges, toboggans and figures skating on a frozen canal, always had windmills in the background. Spohler travelled extensively throughout Holland during his working life and lived in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Brussels, The Hague, Leiden and Rotterdam; and finally returned to settle in Amsterdam in 1861.Spohler's work sold well during his lifetime and he often competed for commissions with other contemporaries such as F.M. Kruseman (1816-1882) and Charles Leickert (1816-1907). Spohler had two sons who both became artists, Jacob Jan Coenraad Spohler, who was very much influenced by his father, in his style and subject matter and his other son, Johannes Franciscus Spohler painted Dutch townscape scenes.Although both sons were accomplished painters, neither of them had the deftness of touch of their fathers work. Spohler died on 15 June 1866 in Amsterdam, however according Benezit the year of death was 1879.
Works in Museums: Teylers Museum, Haarlem; Broederpoort; Kampen.
Bibl: Dutch Painters of the 19th Century – Marius, edited by Geraldine Norman; Benezit; Pieter A. Scheen 1750-1950
This painting is one of J.J. Spohler’s finest examples.