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Jan Both

about 1615 - 1652
Jan Both
Image: Jan Both

Jan Both was the main pioneer of Italianate landscape in 17th-century Holland. He introduced to Dutch landscape a style based on the work of Claude in Rome. His Italianate landscape style was developed by such painters as Nicolaes Berchem in Haarlem. It also influenced the development of Cuyp.

Jan Both was born in Utrecht, the son of a glass painter and engraver, and probably trained there under Abraham Bloemaert. He was in Rome by 1638, living with his elder brother, Andries. He returned to Utrecht about 1641, where he remained. Jan Both imitates the light of the Roman Campagna as depicted by Claude, rather than his pictorial construction. His landscapes sometimes include views of Rome and Tivoli. He occasionally produced religious or mythological scenes with figures by other painters, such as the Gallery's 'A Landscape with the Judgement of Paris'.

He rarely dated his works, and they can be difficult to place exactly. Like the Italianate landscapes of Cuyp, Both's works were prized by Dutch patricians, who preferred them to the native Dutch landscapes in the manner of Van Goyen.