Regarded as the forerunner of Impressionism, painter Johan Barthold Jongkind would also be known for his experimentations with the effects of moonlight on water. He painted his many land and seascapes in both watercolor and oil, and was a founder of the Society of Watercolorists in France.
Born in Holland in 1819, he trained at the art academy in The Hague before heading to Paris in 1846. There he studied under Isabey and Picot, and entered his first submission into the Salon of 1848. He received a great deal of praise from art critic Charles Baudelaire and writer Emile Zola, but would never achieve much success with his work.
By 1855 he was in the Netherlands and stayed for five years until he decided to give Paris another try in 1861, and opened a studio as well as continuing his efforts at the exhibitions. It was during this period that his technique began to demonstrate many of those effects that would later influence the Impressionists. It was also during this period of his life the Jongkind first met Claude Monet, who would become a well known Impressionist and who referred to Jongkind as "the master".
Jongkind was a Barbizon painter, capturing scenes of the Fontainebleau Forest and its environs, but with a palette and brushwork more distinctive than the others of the school
In 1863 the very first Salon des Refuses was held and Jongkind was one of its exhibitors, but when the Impressionists staged their own first exhibition less than ten years later they rejected Jongkind's submissions.
He moved to a small village in southeastern France in 1878 and stayed there until his death in 1891. His works can be found at many major museums around the world, including the Louvre in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago.