J.J. Spohler was born in Nederhorst a-la-Montagne on 7th November, 1811. He studied under J.W. Pieneman at the Amsterdam Academy and devoted his life to the portrayal of the Dutch landscape. Spohler was painting during the height of the Dutch Romantic movement in Holland and he followed in the footsteps of the great master Andreas Schelfhout. Like Schelfhout, Spohler was comfortable painting winter or summer landscapes, capturing the atmosphere of both with equal skill. The artist often included small groups of figures in his work, giving us a delightful insight into the life of the times.
Spohler travelled extensively throughout Holland during his working life, living in Amsterdam, Harlem, Brussels, The Hague, Leiden and Rotterdam at one time or another. He finally returned to Amsterdam again in 1861 and he died there 5 years later on 15th June.
Spohler's work sold well during his lifetime and he often competed for commissions with other contemporaries such as F.M. Kruseman (1816-1882) and Charles Leickert (1816-1907). Spohler had two sons who were both artists; J.J.C. Spohler, who was very much influenced by his father in his style and subject matter, and J.F. Spohler who chose the Dutch townscape as his genre.