O. (OTTO) EERELMAN
1839 Groningen - 1926 Groningen
As a painter, etcher and lithographer, Otto Eerelman is best known for his nature-like paintings of horses and dogs. At the same time, he acquired fame as a painter at court and knew better than anyone else how to depict the atmosphere surrounding the royal family, both in The Hague and at Het Loo palace.
Skilled as a draughtsman from an early age, Otto Eerelman chose a life as an artist against his parents' wishes and began his studies in 1860 at the Minerva Academy in Groningen. Between 1864 and 1867 he completed his studies at the Royal Academy in Antwerp, spent some time in the studio of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema and finally stayed in Paris, the city of artists par excellence.
In 1867 he returned to Groningen as a teacher at the Academy Minerva. In 1874 he moved to Brussels to devote himself to painting, but soon moved to The Hague where he lived and worked until 1902. During this period he also received regular commissions from the royal house for portraits and painting special occasions. Here began the friendly relationship that would last for thirty years, as evidenced by the many drawings and paintings in royal possession. After staying in Arnhem for health reasons, he returned to Groningen in 1907, where he would live until his death. Eerelman's oeuvre is characterized by the high quality of his craft and his attention to detail. His love of horses and dogs allowed him to spread his subjects: the circus, the racecourse, sleigh rides, village festivals, carriages and riders, markets and work in the fields. Even during his lifetime he was praised and respected for his outstanding works, and at the age of eighty he was knighted and a street named after him in Groningen. Upon his death, the city mourned. A local newspaper wrote: "This artist was one of those, whose name, though he went away from us, continues to resound, undiminished in strength."
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