Lines and Colors art blog

Johannes Bosboom

Johannes Bosboom
Nineteenth century painter Johannes Bosboom is known for his portrayals of church interiors, in which he explored light and volumetric space.

He produced several beautiful cityscapes as well, notably the striking View of the Paris Quay and the Cathedral in Rouen (images above, top, with detail). He was also notable and influential as a landscape watercolorist.

I’m particularly impressed with those oil paintings in which he appears to use a highly textural application of paint, giving the surface a contemporary, painterly feeling. It’s difficult to tell from the available images online how prevalent this is in his work, as it shows best in detail views of certain paintings. You can see it in the Rouen painting, and it is very evident in his painting Interior of the Bakenesserkerk, Haarlem, in the National gallery, London, which I featured in more detail in this Eye Candy post.

A number of his watercolors utilize gouache as well as transparent watercolor, and I also very much like his approach to that medium. Many of his watercolor pieces are location sketches — almost monochromatic, but with touches of other colors and combined with chalk or charcoal.

The best selection of his work I’ve found is on the Rijksmuseum website. (See my post on the new Rijksmuseum website for information on how to download large images. You can also access some of the images on the Memory of the Netherlands project.)


4 responses to “Johannes Bosboom”

  1. Love the Rouen piece….being that I’m an oil painter myself, this is very inspiring. Love all the grays, and use of values. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are wonderful! I especially like the high archways with the light coming through. He shows light so beautifully! Thanks for introducing me to this artist!

  3. His watercolours are just as wonderful, like the several Beaches at Scheveningen.
    Bosboom’s spouse, Anna Louisa Geertruida (Truitje=Trudie)Toussaint -
    – a prestigeous author, is honored by the women in the Netherlands as the epitaph on their common crypt reads:
    Her translated book entitled ‘Major Frank’ can be read online.

  4. The sixth work above, with the gray tones reminds me of the Scottish castle painters, and the period in 1820-1910 when it was popular to make traditional drawings of the London cityscape.

    My biggest criticism, although I like the sense of color in his pieces, is that they are not revolutionary. Perhaps in a more grounded sensibility, there would be an imaginative sense of intrigue and ‘the conversations people would have’, but I think in the current time, those conversations are not visible in the work, and consequently it impends on us to create ideas within artwork. The ideas of God, Country, Free-Men, and Love are all taken off the shelf in his work, and while there may be an inspiration of a social sensibility, the bucolic scenes are a far cry from today’s social media or global economy. I can understand why it is studied as ‘historical’ rather than ‘conceptual’ work, except within the Dutch pastoral, or Dutch genre paintings.

    As I see it, the way painting should really be classified, where technology is not the ultimate operator (qua sensorium / typologistics), is as radical as the following: 1. Form (linear variation, “concepts”), 2. Function (physical character / modification of image), 3. Psychology (emotion in a purely selfish sense).

    For my take on the first quality of art, see my commercial gallery of Hyper-Cubism: