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 Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck  (1600/03 - 1662)



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Lived/Active: Holland      Known for: Golden Age portrait painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Johannes Verspronck
1600/03 (Haarlem, Holland)
1662 (Haarlem, Holland)


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Golden Age portrait painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck (between 1600 and 1603, Haarlem - buried June 30, 1662, Haarlem) was a gifted Dutch Golden Age portraitist.

He was the son of the painter Cornelis Engelsz from Gouda, who taught him to paint portraits. In 1632 he became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke and started a successful career as a portraitist of mostly Catholic sitters in Haarlem. He may have been a Frans Hals pupil, and was strongly influenced by him, especially in his natural expressions and relaxed poses.

He is best known for his exactness in painting details such as jewelry and lace, which made him quite popular with female sitters. Most notably, he won a lucrative commission in 1642 for a group portrait of the regentesses (regents) of the Heilige Geesthuis, at the time one of the wealthiest charity institutions in Haarlem, situated on the Krocht. This commission was won at the expense of Frans Hals himself, who had painted the regents of the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis in 1641 and fully expected to win the commission for the women. Twenty years later Verspronck even painted the regentesses of the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis.

According to Houbraken, he was called "Gerard Sprong", and was the son of the painter Cornelis Engelsz who made many schuttersstukken (Dutch Civic Guard group portraits) that could be seen in the Doelen (he meant the buildings in Haarlem that were used for target practice, and where today the central library and proveniershuis (home for elderly men) are located.

Verspronck produced about 100 known paintings. His Girl in Blue appeared on September 15, 1945, on the bank note for 25 Dutch guilders. The bank note had a circulation of approximately 39 million, and was removed from circulation on February 1, 1953. His portrait of the Amsterdam merchant Jean le Gouche (1634) was in the collection of Hermann Göring. The portrait was auctioned recently, and came from the collection of Jacques Goudstikker; its current whereabouts are unknown.


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