Johannes Christiaan Karel Klinkenberg studied at the Academy in The Hague with Christoffel Bisschop (1828-1904), the master for so many aspiring artists in The Hague, and with J. H. L. Meyer (1809-1866), the marine painter. Early in his career, Klinkenberg was a painter of landscapes and historical subjects before turning, in his late twenties, to painting town scenes. The painting of topographically accurate town scenes was a peculiarly, and particularly popular, Dutch genre.
Artists, led by Cornelis Springer (1817-1891), Willem Koekkoek (1839-1895), Kaspar Karsen (1810-1896) and Adrianus Eversen (1818-1897), were highly successful, both at home and in Europe as a whole, and Klinkenberg was to become a leading artist in this genre, albeit painting in a uniquely distinctive style. Coming to this genre later in the century, Klinkenberg was perhaps more open to the prevailing attitudes amongst his French contemporaries, the Impressionists and their use of light. Klinkenberg’s topographically accurate and detailed town scenes are broadly drawn with extensive use of impasto and suffused with sunlight, but a cool northern sunlight. An artist highly regarded by his contemporaries, Klinkenberg exhibited not only in Amsterdam and The Hague from 1870 to 1903, but also in Germany, France, Belgium and in Great Britain. He was awarded medals in Munich in 1888, and in Paris at the Universal Expositions in 1889 and 1900 and in 1910 in Brussels.
His works can be found in museums in: Alkmaar; Amsterdam; Dordrecht; Enschede; Haarlem; The Hague; Leiden; Nijmegen; Rotterdam and Utrecht.