Hulk studied painting as a young man in Amsterdam at the Academy under the portrait painter Jean Augustin Daiwaille, but dedicated himself to marine subjects, possibly influenced by a long sea trip he took in 1833, that took him to America. He returned to Amsterdam and from1843, exhibited regularly, first in the city and later also at The Hague and Oosterbeek.
In 1870 Hulk moved to London where he was to stay for the rest of his life, but continued to paint coastal and estuary scenes in the Dutch tradition. His marine paintings are wonderfully evocative, capturing the various effects of light in different weather conditions.
Hulk’s brother, John Frederick was a painter of genre scenes and his son, Abraham junior also went on to become a painter.
Hulk's work can be seen in numerous museums including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam“