Hendrik Reekers

(1815 - 1854)

Hendrik Reekers, one of the foremost still life painters of the nineteenth century was born in Haarlem. His father Johannes Reekers (1790-1858) was an established painter of, primarily, genre subjects, and it was as a pupil of his father that Hendrik embarked on a highly successful but all too brief career as a painter.

He continued his studies with Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os (1782-1861), the leading still life painter of his generation whom Hendrik Reekers was to rival, and from 1830-1834 at the Haarlem Town School.

Reekers was exhibiting at the Hague, and Amsterdam as early as 1832 and continued to do so until 1852, a diverse range of oils and watercolours, exclusively still lifes, of fruit, dead game and above all flowers. It was these latter still lifes of blooms in the great Dutch still life tradition, painted with exquisite detail, that were to secure his reputation.

Reekers worked in Haarlem, followed by a sojourn in Brussels 1841-1846, returning to Brussels from Haarlem in 1848. He also travelled to Paris and Versailles and exhibited at the British Institution in London in 1847.

A painter in oils and watercolour, and a lithographer Reekers died at the early age of thirty-nine on 15th May 1854 in Haarlem. His younger brother Johannes Reekers Jnr. (1824-1895), also a still life painter, was a pupil.

His work can be found at museums in: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum and Historical Museum; Haarlem, Tesler Museum; Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen.