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Jan van Goyen

Jan van Goyen

Leiden 1596 -
Den Haag 1656


The Dutch landscape painter Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden on January 13, 1596 as the son of a cobbler. At the age of 10, Jan van Goyen received his first painting lessons. Within only two years he had attended the workshops of four teachers and decided to become a landscape painter instead of a glass painter. Jan van Goyen received further training from the landscape painter Willem Gerritsz in Hoom. He traveled to France and extended his training by a one-year course under Esaias van de Velde in Haarlem.
In 1618 Jan van Goyen married Annetie Willemsdr. von Raelst in Leiden and set up his own studio. Alongside his artistic career, the exceptional exponent of Dutch 17th century landscape painting, Jan van Goyen, tried to make money by selling his pictures, working as an art expert and dealer plus speculating on real estate and tulips, but monetary success failed to materialize.
His economic misfortune and his debt had, however, no influence on his artwork. In 1632 Jan van Goyen moved to The Hague with his wife and daughters, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He continued both his artistic and his business careers in The Hague. He was never very successful, ran into debt and died on April 27, 1656 in The Hague.
Jan van Goyen is regarded as a representative of the 17th century naturalist Dutch landscape painting. His pictures describe an atmosphere of light, air and perspective, and are marked by a melancholy color scheme with increasingly monochrome colors. He had a considerable influence on the painting style of his contemporaries and developed an astonishingly pure style of landscape painting.