Cornelis Jansen van Ceulen (Cornelius Jonson)

Dates1593 - 1661
BornLondon, England
DiedUtrecht, The Netherlands

Born of Dutch parents who fled to London to escape religious persecution, Cornelis Jansen van Ceulen probably trained in the northern Netherlands. Around 1618 he established himself as a portrait painter in London. His signed or monogrammed portraits number several hundred; he is the first English-born painter known to have made so many. Anthony van Dyck's dazzling manner influenced him, but Jansen's style remained more straightforward, a somewhat conservative approach that appealed to his patrons in the higher, but not the highest, social circles. Typically, he painted bust-length representations with sitters looking directly out of the picture, giving close attention to accurately renderings of clothing. Jansen also painted miniatures in oil on copper, some of which were reduced copies of larger paintings.

When the English Civil War began in 1643, Jansen moved to the northern Netherlands, where he helped to popularize van Dyck's airy, liquid touch. He stopped first in Middelburg and later in Amsterdam, The Hague, and finally Utrecht. His half-length and three-quarter-length portraits were notable for their elegance and for his characteristically precise rendering of his sitter's features and clothing.

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