River Landscape with a Tower and Bridge

Jan VAN DE VELDE (Delft or Rotterdam, 1593 - Enkhuizen, 1641)

Biography



Jan van de Velde was a painter, printmaker and draughtsman, specializing in landscapes. Known as van de Velde the Younger to differentiate him from his father, the calligrapher Jan van de Velde the Elder, he was a pupil of the engraver Jacob Matham in Haarlem. His cousin was the landscape painter Esias van de Velde, and the two may have collaborated at some point. The young Jan joined the artist’s guild in Haarlem in 1614, and soon afterwards is thought to have travelled to Italy. By 1617, he had produced over a hundred landscape etchings. While much of his early work as a printmaker consisted of original compositions, from around 1618 onwards he seems to have preferred to reproduce, in print form, the work of such artists as Esias van de Velde, Pieter Molijn and Frans Hals.

Apart from the landscape subjects that make up the bulk of his output as a printmaker, Jan van de Velde also produced more than fifty portrait engravings, as well as genre scenes and book illustrations. He was also a gifted landscape draughtsman, and around a hundred drawings by the artist are known. Late in his career, van de Velde etched a series of thirty-five landscapes that were published after his death by Claes Jansz. Visscher as Playsante Lantschappen ende vermakelycke Gesichten, na t’ leven geteykent, en in t’koper gemaeckt door Ian van den Velde (‘Delightful landscapes and amusing views drawn from life and reproduced on copper by Jan van de Velde’). Van de Velde’s landscape prints had a profound influence on several Dutch artists of the succeeding generation, including Rembrandt. His son and pupil, Jan Jansz. van de Velde III, was a still life painter.