Henriette Ronner-Knip painting
Description: Oil on board.
Signed lower right, “Ronner Knip”.
Born in Amsterdam, Henriette Ronner-Knip came from a family of artists. She received her earliest tuition from her father Joseph Augustus Knip (1777-1847), and at age fifteen, sold her first painting in an exhibition at Dusseldorf. Early in her career, she painted many subjects including genre scenes, landscapes and still lifes.
In 1850, Ronner-Knip married Telco Ronner and moved to Brussels where she spent the rest of her life. In 1860, she exhibited her widely acclaimed painting, La mort d’un ami, thereby establishing her reputation as a painter of dogs. The Queen of Belgium commissioned her to paint two of her favorite lap-dogs in 1876, and the success of these works led to many more commissions. Ronner-Knip began to paint cats in works that were popular for their depictions in luxurious interiors, lying on silk cushions and chairs or playing in fancy baskets.
Ronner-Knip exhibited widely throughout her career and was elected to many artistic societies. The ‘Natura Artis Magistra’ Society of Amsterdam elected her to membership in 1850, and in 1861, the Academy of Painting and Drawing in Rotterdam made her a member of merit. Her paintings won medals in exhibitions around the world, including two bronze medals, one vermeil medal, five silver medals and six gold medals. The King of The Netherlands also presented her with a ‘Unique Medal of Merit’ in 1874. Her international reputation was confirmed at the prestigious Worlds Fairs – first by an artistic medal at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876, then by a gold medal at the Colonial and International Exposition held in Amsterdam in 1883 and a silver medal at the Universal Exhibition held in Edinburgh in 1883.
Ronner Knip was awarded the Cross of the Order of Léopold in 1887 by Léopold II King of the Belgians, an honor rarely bestowed upon a woman artist. In 1891, a Henriette Ronner Album was published with twelve reproductions of her most famous works.
Ronner-Knip counted most of the crowned heads of Europe amongst her patrons. Her most prestigious clients included the King of Hanover, Don Fernando King of Portugal, Emperor Wilhelm I King of Prussia, Baron Tindal of Amsterdam, the Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess of Wales. Her work is represented in several museums, including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Dordrechts Museum.