J.C.K. Klinkenberg was a nineteenth century painter who started his painting career as a student at the Academy of Fine Art in The Hague. Later he became a student of Louis Meijer (1809-1866), renowned for his seascapes. Finally, Klinkenberg studied under the tutelage of Christoffel Bisschop (1828-1904) where he developed his extraordinary talent for rendering light in paintings. Bisschop was a painter of genre pieces and interiors, but Klinkenberg chose a different route: the one of cityscapes. He was mainly active in The Hague and Amsterdam, but visited other cities as well. Countless Dutch cities were immortalised by him.


In each city, he had his preferred spots. In his Utrecht work, for instance, the Oude Gracht is almost always at the center of the composition. When his audience appreciated his depiction of a particular location, he did not hesitate to make variations on that theme, always from a different angle and with different contrasts. More views of Utrecht’s Oude Gracht are known in this way, especially summer ones.


The cityscapes of Klinkenberg are well known, mainly because of his use of colours and dazzling light. His works are bright and atmospherically pleasing. He painted his buildings in light, warm shades of brown and ochre, here and there accentuated with white, especially visible in this painting on the snow-covered quays of the Oude Gracht. Architecture often stands out against a brilliant blue sky, in this painting we see a more clear, winter sky. Water often plays an important role in his compositions; here the painter has rendered the reflection in the canal with a smooth, impressionistic touch.