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 Jan Dirksz Both  (1615/18 - 1652)

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Lived/Active: Netherlands/Holland      Known for: Landscape and figure painting, drawing, etching

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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.

Jan Both was a Dutch painter, draughtsman, and etcher, who made an important contribution to the development of Dutch Italianate landscape painting. His training is uncertain, although Abraham Bloemaert and Gerrit van Honthorst have been suggested as teachers. By 1638 Jan had joined his brother Andries in Rome where, a year later, he collaborated with Herman van Swanevelt and Claude Lorrain on a project for the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid.

Certainly by 1646 Jan had returned to Utrecht, where he refined further his expansive, imaginary landscapes drenched with a Mediterranean golden light. In Landscape with Bandits Leading Prisoners (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts) the sandy road makes a sweeping diagonal from the left. Touches of realism in the down-to-earth figures and detailed vegetation of the foreground contrast with the idyllic golden distance. Occasionally Both peoples his landscapes with religious or mythological figures as in Judgement of Paris (London, National Gallery) where the figures were painted by a fellow Utrecht artist, Cornelis van Poelenburch. Jan's brother Andries (c.1612-41), who specialized in peasant scenes, died in Venice on their return to Utrecht.

Both is represented in the following collections: Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, UK; Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Louvre, Paris; Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Gallery, London; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; The Royal Collection, London; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia; Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, New Zealand; Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; Norwich Museums, UK; Prado Museum, Madrid; Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas; The Wallace Collection, London; Vejle Kunstmuseum, Denmark, amongst other

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