Ludolf de Jongh

Dates1616 - 1679

Unlike most Dutch painters of the 1600s, who were specialists, Ludolf de Jongh painted portraits, genre paintings, landscapes, and historical subjects. As a result of this wide variety of subject matter, his works have frequently been attributed to others. Moreover, he signed few paintings, and his style often changed in response to new developments in Dutch painting.

De Jongh's training included study with Cornelis Saftleven in Rotterdam, a portraitist in Delft, and a Caravaggesque painter in Utrecht. Beginning in 1635, de Jongh spent seven years in France.

De Jongh's earliest known paintings are portraits and genre subjects dating from his return to Rotterdam around 1642. By the late 1640s, his genre subjects and hunting scenes show the influence of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, especially Jacob Duck.

During the 1650s, de Jongh may have been Rotterdam's most prestigious painter. Demonstrating his interest in Dutch painting's latest innovations, his portraiture became more expressive and his space more clearly defined, and he grew more concerned with light. This work greatly influenced the young Pieter de Hooch.

After about 1660, de Jongh's artistic output decreased, probably due to his business ventures, his duties as a Rotterdam militia officer, and later, his work as Schout, or sheriff, of Hillegersberg.