Jan de Bisschop

Dates1628 - 1671
BornAmsterdam, The Netherlands
DiedThe Hague, The Netherlands

Despite his amateur status, Jan de Bisschop was widely influential in art and art publishing. A lawyer by profession, he set up practice in The Hague around 1652 and later founded a drawing academy there. He mingled with an elite circle of intellectuals that included his friend and fellow amateur draftsman Constantijn Huygens the Younger.

Bartholomeus Breenbergh, who lived in de Bisschop's native Amsterdam for a time, most influenced de Bisschop's draftsmanship. De Bisschop's landscapes in brown ink wash imitated Breenbergh's evocations of Italianate sunlight. Despite drawing numerous Italianate landscapes, de Bisschop probably never went to Italy; other artists' works were his sources. Whether drawing with pen or brush, de Bisschop used a warm golden-brown ink, later named "bisschops-inkt" after him.

In addition to landscapes, de Bisschop made figure studies and drawings after classical sculptures and famous paintings, primarily by Italian artists. His publications, which reproduced antique sculptures and Old Master drawings, were instrumental in disseminating the classical style in Holland. He also designed title pages for books, mostly by classical authors, and published his own compositions.