Jan Victors

Dates1619 - after 1676
BornAmsterdam, The Netherlands

Jan Victors was probably a student of Rembrandt van Rijn in the 1630s. He painted portraits, genre scenes, and historical subjects on both canvas and panel; but, like other pupils and followers of Rembrandt during the 1640s and early 1650s, Victors's body of work largely consists of biblical subjects on a grand scale. Despite Rembrandt's strong and obvious influence, Victors's style is crisper and more theatrical in gesture and staging than his master's. Voluminous drapery, rounded forms, monumental formats, and smooth execution with moderately soft light and rich colors are common in his paintings.

Victors's biblical scenes, often drawn from the Old Testament, frequently portray the theme of the constancy of the God of Israel. After 1650 Victors increasingly focused on street life: village peddlers, quacks, butchers, and craftsmen. Gradually, he incorporated influences from Pieter Lastman and Abraham Bloemaert, as well as Rembrandt's pupils Govaert Flinck and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout. After the mid-1650s, Victors slowly abandoned painting to become a ziekentrooster("comforter of the sick") for the Dutch East India Company. He went to the East Indies after January 1676 and probably died there.