Henriette Ronner Knip

Henriëtte Ronner-Knip was a Netherlands painter who captured the hearts of many with her detailed scenes of cats, dogs and other animals. She was born Henriëtte Knip in Amsterdam on May 3, 1821. Her father was Josephus Augustus Knip (1777-1847), a famous artist and her sole educator of the arts. As his eyesight failed, Josephus taught Knip rigorously, knowing she would soon be the sole provider of the family’s income. At 16, she displayed her first painting at an annual art exhibition in Düsseldorf. She quickly sold that painting and continued to work in a swift, exact manner to produce as many paintings as she could. She began painting landscapes, portraits, castles, and genre paintings, but realized that she enjoyed painting animals most.

Knip’s fame began to flourish in 1845 with her sporting canine paintings, when she gained commissions from many prominent people, including the Queen of Belgium. These scenes included hunting dogs in forests or the countryside and grew increasingly popular. During this time, she married Teico Ronner and moved to Brussels, Belgium. Though canine pictures brought her great celebrity, she gradually shifted to using cats as subjects, most likely due to her adoption of a cat of her own. The switch in genres brought different admirers and another surge in popularity as she depicted sleepy cats and playful cats in her usual darker tones. As she aged, she lightened up her hues and tones a bit, which could have been due to the increasing pressure to follow the modernist’s lighter style. Throughout her eighty-one years, Henriëtte Ronner-Knip won dozens of awards and achievements before passing away in the spring of 1909.