Knip is the best-known member of a dynasty of Dutch painters active from the late 18th century to about 1900. He worked in Paris for several years in the early 19th century. He built his reputation on painting large, composed Neo-classical landscapes, based on the drawings and oil sketches that he made in Italy between 1809 and 1813. His career was cut short in the late 1820s when he lost the sight of one eye. By 1832 he was completely blind.