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his contemporaries, Philips Köninck (also Coning, Coningh, Coningh,
Koning, Konnink) was known as a figure painter, specializing in portraits,
genre and religious scenes. Strange enough, nowadays he is known and praised
as a landscape-painter.
Philips was born in Amsterdam, the son of a successful goldsmith, and trained
in the studio of his brother Jacob, a painter, who taught him from 1639
to 1641 in Rotterdam. Subsequently he returned to Amsterdam, where he lived
for the rest of his life. Köninck was a wealthy man, owning a company,
which operated horse-drawn passenger barges between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
He seems to have been a friend rather than a pupil of Rembrandt
but he was certainly influenced by the great master in his manner of rendering
Köninck’s landscapes are characterized by a high viewpoint and a sky,
which occupies at least half of the picture space. They are cloudscapes
as much as extensive landscapes. Wide stretches of flat or slightly hilly
land under a great expanse of sky are the realistic view of Holland. Waterways
and paths intersect the land; houses are dotted in the foreground. These
landscapes were mostly carried out in warm, brown-yellow tones.
The landscape with a high sky was particularly in favor in the 1650s and
1660s, not only in the work of Köninck, but also in that of Jacob
van Ruisdael and also in the etched landscapes of Rembrandt.