visual artist

Jan Lievens

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

Jan Lievens, a Dutch painter, son of a tapestry worker, was born on October 24, 1607.  He began a formal study of art at the age of eight and two years later was formally apprenticed to Pieter Lastman.  Lievens was working as an independent artist at the age of twelve.  This early display of talent made him a celebrity and brought him attention from influential political figures.

 Self Portrait of Jan Lievens (private collection)

Self Portrait of Jan Lievens (private collection)

From 1626 to 1631 Lievens collaborated with Rembrandt van Rijn, sharing models, subject matter, and possibly a studio.  Lievens painted several portraits of Rembrandt.  His work has often been confused with that of Rembrandt; it was only in the twentieth century that "The Feast of Esther," long attributed to Rembrandt, was finally determined to be the work of Lievens.

The Feast of Esther

Jan Lievens

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Lievens subjects range from formal portraits to character studies, classical mythology, Biblical scenes, and landscapes.

Landscape with Hagar and the angel

Jan Lievens

Musée de Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France

At the age of 31 Lievens was invited to the British court.  Later, he served as a court painter in The Hague and in Berlin.  He returned to Amsterdam in 1655 and died there in 1672.