Bock, Théophile de

Théophile de Bock worked very hard, as long as the work was related to drawing and painting. He got fired from the ‘Hollandse Ijzeren Spoorwegmaatschappij’ because he spent more time painting than performing his actual duties. He therefore decided to focus completely on art and studied with several painters. His first lessons were from J.W. van Borselen, but he was most influenced by J.H. Weissenbruch. De Bock also had great admiration for Jacob Maris, from whom he received valuable opinions. Furthermore, he made multiple study trips to France. He visited Paris and also the village of Barbizon, the birthplace of Impressionism. In France De Bock met Vincent van Gogh and the two became friends. In letters to his brother Theo, Van Gogh also praised De Bock’s artistic abilities.

Beside his own career he also spent time on the artists’ societies. He was a member of Arti et Amicitiae from Amsterdam and he was also co-founder and first president of the Hague Art Circle. This association started because many young artists in The Hague found the Hague society Pulchri Studio too conservative. The Hague Art Circle especially wanted to provide representatives of new styles a chance to exhibit. The initiative quickly proved popular. During one of the well-attended exhibitions there were works by Vincent van Gogh on view, which had just been refused by Pulchri Studio.

Théophile de Bock was also one of the artists who aided Mesdag with his Panorama. He painted the sky and the dunes. Meanwhile his own paintings sold excellently and not only domestically. Many of his forest views and wooded landscapes went to England, the United States and Canada.

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