Bernardus Johannes Blommers

(1845 - 1914)

Bernardus Johnannes Blommers was the son of a printmaker in The Hague. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague with Christoffel Bisschop (1828-1904), a painter from Leeuwarden, who had settled in The Hague and with whom, amongst others, Blommers was a founder member of The Hague Watercolour Society. Other members included Josef Israels (1824-1911) and Jacob Maris (1837-1899), both of whom encouraged and supported Blommers. Blommers followed Israel’s course in taking as his subject matter the fishermen and their families in and around Scheveningen.

In a departure from the more romanticised aspect of Dutch painting of the period, Blommers portrayed these families in a literal fashion, depicting the impoverished and robust way of life in a form of social realism, however, his works are imbued with the warmth of family and community life which is conspicuously absent in the work of certain ‘social realists’.

Blommers exhibited as early as 1865 in Amsterdam and continued to exhibit there and in The Hague, Rotterdam and Antwerp throughout his life. Of a succeeding generation to Israels, Blommers was one of the leading genre painters of the latter half of the nineteenth century.

His works can be found in museums in: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Dordrecht Museum; Haarlem; Otterlo, Kroller-Muller Museum; Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Boymans van Beuningen Museum; Utrecht, Central Museum and the Frans Halsmuseum.