Born in Amsterdam in 1821, Henriette Ronner Knip came from an artistic family and she studied art under her father, Joseph Augustus Knip.
After selling her first painting at the age of fifteen she produced an outstanding body of work which is now on display in many European museums, including the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Dordrecht Museum.
Her early and formative years of painting included genre scenes, landscapes and still-lifes, although she later established herself as a painter of cats and dogs. In 1876 the Queen of Belgium commissioned her to paint two of her favourite lap-dogs and the success of this work led to further prestigious commissions from great names including Emperor William I of Germany, Baron Tindal of Amsterdam, the Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess of Wales. The following year Henriette Ronner-Knip was awarded the Cross of the Leopold Order; a rare achievement for a woman artist.
After her marriage in 1850 to Telco Ronner, Henriette Ronner-Knip settled in Brussels where she remained until her death in 1909. A major retrospective of her work was held at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam in 1998.