Thursday, 29 December 2016

How To Look Like An Artist

Photo: Rijksmuseum. High definition version available here.
Particularly splendid pastel self-portrait by Abraham Hulk Snr's teacher, Jean Augustin Daiwaille (1786-1850).

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A list of artists of the Hulk family

Self-portrait byy Araham Hulk Senior (1813-1897)

This list is an attempt to clarify the  bewildering range of names and conflicting dates given for the artists of the Hulk family. It has been checked against Familysearch where possible, and  in a couple of places with Dutch newspapers available online. In the main, it ties in quite neatly with the information given on the RKD database for the Dutch born members of the family, with one or two additions.  It seems that  a certain amount of confusion comes from some of Abraham Hulk Junior's children adding an "e" to their surname sometime around the First World War. Several of the family went by both Dutch and English variants of their names.

First generation:
* Abraham Hulk Senior. Born Shoreditch, London, 1813, son of Hendrik Hulk, a Dutch merchant. Lived in England from 1870, but died at Zevenaar  in 1897.
* Johannes Frederik Hulk. Abraham Snr's younger brother. Born Amsterdam 1829, died Haarlem 1911.

Second generation:
* Hendrik Hulk. Son of Abraham Hulk Snr. Born Amsterdam 1842. Died in Haarlem in 1937 at the age of 94. A brief obituary in Dutch here.
* Abraham Hulk Junior. Son of Abraham Hulk Snr. Born Amsterdam 1843, died Eastry, Kent 1919.
* William Frederick. Son of Abraham Hulk Snr. Born Amsterdam 1852. lived much of his life in Shere, Surrey, and died at Guildford  in 1921.
* John Frederick / Johannes Frederik. Son of the older Johannes Frederik. Born Amsterdam 1855, died Vreeland 1913. By the end of his life the English form of his name was used even in Dutch sources.

Third generation:
* Frederick Martines Hulk. Born St Pancras, London, 1876. Son of Abraham Hulk Junior. Graduate of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, Died Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,  5 June, 1950, described as "late of Deal, Kent",. Signed his work "F. Martines  Hulk".
* William Claude Hulk. Born St Pancras, London, 1876. Son of Abraham Hulk Junior.  Died Lambeth 1955. I'm guessing that he was the painter of the many works signed "Claude Hulke"; I can't find any trace of anyone else who might have done them.
* Henry Dollond Hulk. Born Brixton 1885. Son of Abraham Hulk Junior. Died Dover 1968. Signed his work "H. Dollond-Hulke"
* Frederick William Leicester Hulk. Son of William Frederick Hulk. Born St Pancras 1881. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1898. Recorded at Frinton, Essex, in the 1911 census.

Monday, 26 December 2016

H Dollond Hulke

I came across this watercolour, signed H. Dollond-Hulke in a charity shop.  He's an artist whose  landscapes and coastal scenes  show up in  auction catalogues occasionally. Sometimes the "Dollond" is misread as "Hollond" or "Holland", because of the curious "D" of his signature. His works rarely seem to raise much interest and perhaps this is understandable: they often seem curiously empty, devoid of people or architecture. Over the last hundred years or so plenty of people have made made an aesthetic out of the curiously empty, but its not immediately obvious that this was Dollond-Hulke's intention.  A big red-brown cliff  on the right, with a series of headlands rapidly receding into blueness. Half-a dozen-seagulls hang in the air above the breaking surf.  The composition is a bit naive, but  it's nicely enough  painted.

H Dollond-Hulke doesn't show up on the genealogy websites, but Henry Dollond Hulk - without the terminal "e" - does. He was born in Brixton in 1885, the son of Abraham Hulk  and his wife Blanche, née Werninck. Abraham, born in Amsterdam in 1844,  was a member of a large Anglo-Dutch family of artists who pursued their careers in both Britain and the Netherlands. His father, also called Abraham,  was a marine painter, but Abraham Jnr also painted landscapes.

Henry's family moved around quite a lot - they were in Willesden in 1891, Nottinghamshire in 1901 and Henley in 1911. Henry D Hulk is recorded under that name in the census of 1911, with his profession given as "painter (artist)".  By the time of their deaths, Henry, his three brothers and an unmarried sister were all recorded as "Hulke".  Perhaps the "e" was added during the First World War in an attempt to give the name a less Germanic look (though to me the effect is quite the opposite). He was presumably  the Henry D Hulke who died in Dover, aged 83, in 1968.

His  brother  Frederick Martinus signed his work "F. Martinus Hulk".  I suspect that  the  painter who signed  "Claude Hulke" was another brother, William Claude (1878 - 1955).