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Samuel van Hoogstraten

1627 - 1678

Painter and writer, Hoogstraten is best remembered for his experiments in perspective. His perspective box, 'A Peepshow', is the best surviving example of this aspect of his art. His preoccupation with perspective may have been stimulated by his contact with Carel Fabritius when they were both students of Rembrandt in Amsterdam.

Hoogstraten was a native of Dordrecht, where he was first trained by his father. He moved to Amsterdam shortly after his father's death in December 1640 and received further training in the studio of Rembrandt, at the time when Carel Fabritius was also there. His early works show the influence of Rembrandt.

In 1648 Hoogstraten returned to Dordrecht, but shortly afterwards travelled to Vienna and Rome (1651-3), and later to London (1662-6).After living for some years in The Hague, Hoogstraten returned to Dordrecht in 1673 and spent his last years there writing an important treatise on painting, 'Introduction to the High School of the Art of Painting', which was published in 1678, the year of his death. It includes reminiscences of his stay in Rembrandt's studio and is a valuable source of information about Rembrandt's views on painting. It also criticizes Rembrandt for his excessive naturalism.