Philip van Kouwenbergh, the son of Frans van Kouwenbergh, a sculptor, was baptized in Amsterdam in the Nieuwe Kerk on February 25, 1671. On September 11, 1694, he was betrothed to Cornelia van der Mars, whom he married on September 26 that year. The first of their three sons, Wilhelmus (Willem), was born the following spring and baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk on March 6. On January 31, 1721, Philip and Willem became burghers in Amsterdam. Having outlived his wife by almost ten years, Philip was buried in the Noorderkerkhof on March 11, 1729.
The few known paintings by Van Kouwenbergh are either flower pictures or woodland scenes containing ruins, flowers, and insects. Although no information about his artistic training exists, Meijer has suggested that Van Kouwenbergh might have studied with the still-life painter Elias van den Broeck (c. 1650–1708). Van den Broeck, having returned from Antwerp in 1685, was active in Amsterdam at the time Van Kouwenbergh would have been learning his trade. Documents indicate that Van Kouwenbergh’s paintings were on the market by 1694, so he had probably become an independent master by the time of his betrothal.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.
April 24, 2014
Meijer, Fred G. "Philip van Kouwenbergh." Oud-Holland 102 (1988): 313-321.
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1995: 152.
Willigen, Adriaan van der, and Fred G. Meijer. A dictionary of Dutch and Flemish still-life painters working in oils, 1525-1725. Leiden, 2003: 126-127.