...Dutch painter, draftsman and author.... In 1884 he won the Prix de Rome, but had to share the prize with Jan Dunselman because the jury were unable to choose just one winner. consists mainly of landscapes, still lifes and animal scenes.

Van Looy was the son of a carpenter, but his father lost his job when his eyesight began to fail. His mother died when he was 5 years old and when his father died soon afterwards, he ended up in the Haarlem municipal orphanage. He trained to become a house painter, but was able to follow drawing classes, from 1877 at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

In 1884, he received the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to travel. The years 1885-86 he spent traveling through Italy, Spain and Morocco. He was a pupil of August Allebé, Jan Jacob Goteling Vinnis, Dirk Jan Hendrik Joosten, and Hendrik Jacobus Scholten.... Until 1894 he lived in Amsterdam, when he married Titia van Gelder and moved to Soest. In 1901, he spent another year in Spain and Morocco. He moved back to Haarlem in 1913...

Jacobus van Looy, (Sept. 12, 1855, Haarlem, — Feb. 24, 1930, Haarlem), Dutch author and painter who personified the close association between art and literature in the late 19th century.

Looy wrote first in the direct, personal, “1880” style, as in his popular novel De dood van mijn poes (1889; “The Death of My Cat”). The influence of the Symbolism of the time is seen in his early story De nachtcactus (1888; “The Night Cactus”), with the flower representing ephemeral desire that blooms for one night and then dies. In his later work Feesten (1902; “Celebrations”), he appears more objective, describing scenes from lower middle-class life; and in his autobiographical Jaapje (1917), Jaap (1923), and Jacob (1930), he shows his genius for impressionistic word-painting.
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Renee Larson


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