b. 1593 Rotterdam or Delft, d. 1641 Enkhuizen
draftsman; painter; printer; publisher
Jan van de Velde II came from an artistic family. His father was a celebrated calligrapher and teacher and he was the nephew of Esaias van de Velde, an important landscape painter. Jan also specialized in landscapes but made his mark as a printmaker and draftsman. His engraved landscapes were often based on drawings from nature and his emphasis on naturalistic detail and simple composition influenced other artists including Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. Raised in Rotterdam, Van de Velde trained as an engraver with the artist Jacob Matham in Haarlem. In 1614, he joined Haarlem's Guild of St. Luke, and began producing prints in series. At this early stage in his career, Van de Velde was among Haarlem's most prolific artists and had produced more than a hundred landscape etchings by 1617 (at the age of twenty-four). In addition to landscapes, Van de Velde created more than fifty portrait prints as well as genre scenes, book illustrations, and paintings. As his career progressed, he began to base his engraved output on the work of other artists including that of his cousin Esaias. He also worked as a teacher and his own son, Jan Van de Velde III, was a still-life painter.
Portrait of a Lady