Abraham Hulk was to become one of the foremost Dutch marine painters of the 19th century, and the patriarch of a family of Anglo Dutch artists. He was born to a Dutch family in London, 1st May 1813 and studied at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam from 1828, and subsequently as a pupil of the portrait painter Jean Augustus Daiwaille (1786-1850). Daiwaille was a considerable influence on his pupil, Hulk exhibited a portrait of a lady in 1832 and although known almost exclusively as a painter of marines he painted a number of portraits in addition to producing lithographs.
In 1833 Hulk travelled to North America returning to Holland the following year. Living first in Amsterdam, Hulk embarked on a highly successful career as a painter of marines and coastal scenes. He proved extraordinarily adept in portraying the sea in all its states, a tranquil calm at sunset, choppy seas in a breeze or sailing vessels on towering seas in a storm. His paintings found a ready market both on the Continent and in Britain.
Hulk exhibited extensively, in Amsterdam, The Hague and Leeuwarden from 1832-1896, he moved to Nijkerk 1855-56 to Enkhuizen near Amsterdam in 1858 followed by moves to Haarlem, Oosterbeek and Amsterdam over the subsequent years before settling in London in 1870 where he lived in Camden until his death in 1897. He exhibited at the Royal Academy 1876-1890, his typically Dutch scenes, “A Breeze on the Zuider Zee” and “On the Dutch Coast”. His extensive family of painters included his brother Johannes Frederic Hulk (1829-1911) and son Hendrik (1842-1937), both of whom were his pupils and two further sons Abraham Jnr (1851-1922) and William Frederick (1852-1906), landscape painters domiciled in England.
His works can be found in museums in: Amsterdam; Dordrecht; Enschade and Haarlem.