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 Dirk Valkenburg  (1675 - 1727)

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Lived/Active: Netherlands      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Still life of dead game with birds
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Daphne Alazraki Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Dirk Valkenburg was born in Amsterdam, where he became a pupil, first of a certain Kuilenburg, then of the portrait-and genre painter Michiel van Musscher, and finally of Jan Weenix, the highly successful painter of animals and still lifes.

In 1696, Valkenburg left Amsterdam to travel south, and here he met with success, first in Augsburg, and then two years later in Vienna. Around 1701, he returned to Amsterdam, where he acquired citizenship in March of 1703. In 1706, under contract for the Amsterdam plantation owner Jonas Witsen, he traveled to Surinam in order to draw and paint scenes on Witsen’s plantations as well as the rare birds and plants found there. Due to illness, Valkenburg returned earlier than planned, probably with the autumn fleet of 1707, but with a large number of finished works nonetheless, in particular drawings.

He spent the rest of his life in Amsterdam. Apart from still lifes, Valkenburg is known for Surinam landscapes and outdoor genre scenes, as well as for portraits, although only few of his many portraits survive.

Valkenburg is mainly renowned for his paintings of still lifes of game and live animals – often combining the two motifs. Early on, he proved himself a keen and able follower of his last teacher, Jan Weenix, which, during his stay in Vienna resulted in commissions of several large pictures in Weenix’s style, among others for the Prince of Lichtenstein. As a result, in 1699, Valkenburg delivered a set of four magnificent paintings to Johann Adam von Lichtenstein. They had been commissioned during the previous year, and they have been preserved in the princely collection to the present day. The artist received the considerable sum of one thousand guilders for these four large canvases.

The Lichtenstein paintings clearly demonstrate Valkenburg’s dependence on Jan Weenix’s example, but at the same time they show how he had attained an individual quality that could compete effortlessly with that of his example. It is no wonder that another sizeable example of his work, in the Statens Museum in Copenhagen, received a false Weenix signature in the past, and was only recognized as a work of Valkenburg in the last century.

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