Dutch painter in oil and watercolour, and etcher, of landscapes with animals and peasants; a member of the Hague School. Born in Zaandam, the son of a Mennonite preacher. Spent his youth in Haarlem, where he studied under the animal painters P.F. van Os and Wouterus Verschuur, and began his career as a painter of horses. Lived on and off at Oosterbeek 1858-74, becoming very friendly from about 1862 with Willem Mans. Settled in 1874 in The Hague, where he began to paint sheep, and scenes of horses and men hauling fishing boats on the beach. Gave painting lessons to van Gogh, his wife's cousin, for three weeks in 1881-2. Spent much time in Laren from 1882 and settled there 1885. His late pictures include scenes of peasants at their work, influenced by Millet, and some landscapes without animals or humans. Died at Arnhem.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.504