Jeroen Krabbé was born in Amsterdam in 1944 into a family of painters. His grandfather was a noted member of the Larense School and his father is also a painter, as well as the author of works on art and education.
After studies at the Rietveld Academy of Art, Amsterdam (1961-62), Jeroen Krabbé changed course and went to Drama School in Amsterdam, graduating in 1965. For ten years he worked in theatre and film, both acting and directing, building a major reputation as one of Holland’s most successful and best-regarded actors.
In 1975 Krabbé decided to return to his long-sustained commitment to painting. On the recommendation of the painter Melle, whose influence is evident in Krabbé’s earlier work, he entered the National Academy of Fine Art in Amsterdam (1978-81). Here he was guided by Friso ten Holt, as he began to discover his own, partial path to abstraction. Since 1984 Krabbé has held exhibitions widely in Holland, including Drie Generaties Krabbé (Three Krabbé Generations) at the Singer Museum, Laren (1985) and a major public retrospective at the Gemeentelijke Expositieruimte, Kampen (1992). In 1998 his work was chosen to feature in De Losgezongen Toets: figurative art in the Netherlands since 1945 at the Eelde Museum, North Holland. In 1999, along with Karel Appel, he was appointed by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands a Commander in the Order of the Dutch Lion, his country’s highest distinction.
Since 1992 Jeroen Krabbé has been represented by Francis Kyle Gallery. Between 1993 and 2007 he has held ten one-man exhibitions there, seven of these devoted to works in oil and three to watercolours. In 2004 Jeroen Krabbé: painter by Ruud van der Neut, a comprehensive account of his career in painting, was published by Waanders of Zwolle in Dutch and English editions. Jeroen Krabbé, Painter: a retrospective, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, Netherlands, 2008 and 2010.