Andreas Schelfhout (Dutch, 1870)


Andreas Schelfhout was one of the most important Dutch landscapists of the nineteenth century. He excelled in exquisitely detailed landscapes of the varied terrain of the Low Countries captured in every effect of light and weather. His particular gift for snow and ice scenes embellished with picturesque skaters means his winter paintings remain his most sought after subjects. He also painted summer landscapes, seascapes and beach scenes. Andreas Schelfhout’s style is characterised by bright naturalistic colours and loose, atmospheric brushwork.
Schelfhout was born in The Hague in 1787 and up until the age of twenty-four he worked for his father, Jean Baptiste Schelfhout, a gilder and framemaker from Ghent. His father recognised his artistic gifts and the young Andreas made his début at the 1811 Living Artists Exhibition in The Hague. For four years he became an apprentice of the stage designer Johannes Breckenheimer (1772-1856), who encouraged him to sketch both from the Old Masters and the picturesque surrounding countryside. In the early 1800’s he began to exhibit the winter landscapes that won him the greatest critical acclaim, marking the beginning of a long and successful career. His works were accepted at many of the Living Artists Exhibitions held throughout the Low Countries in Amsterdam, Groningen, Haarlem, The Hague, Leiden, Rotterdam and Utrecht. His work also attracted attention when he exhibited in Belgium at the Antwerp and Brussels Salons. He was well known in Belgium through frequent correspondence with the secretary of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. His Gelderland landscape at sunset seen from a height in the vicinity of Oosterbeek was awarded a gold medal at the Antwerp Salon of 1819. He was married to Cornelia Gevers who bore him two daughters, Cornelia Maria and Maria Cornelia Margaritha.
Andreas Schelfhout visited Paris in 1830 and was a member of the Pulchri Studio in The Hague. He also collaborated with other artists including Pieter Gerardus van Os (1776-1839), Joseph Moerenhout (1801-874) and Jacobus Josephus Eeckhout (1793-1861), who added the staffage to his landscapes. Schelfhout also had an important impact as a teacher of the next generation of artists. Among his most important pupils were Charles Henri Joseph Leickert (1816-1907), Nicholaas Johannes Roosenboom (1805-1880) and Willem Troost (1812-1893.) He also exerted an important influence on Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891), one of the major forerunners of the Impressionists.
The work of Andreas Schelfhout is represented in many museums including the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, the Dordrechts Museum and the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam.