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Cornelis Visscher
Birth Date: 
Death Date: 
A printmaker and draftsman in 17th-century Holland, Cornelis Visscher is best known for his accomplished portraits. His portrait prints were often executed with a combination of etching and engraving, and his portrait drawings were mostly done in black chalk, sometimes with wash added. In a short career spanning only about ten years, he created nearly two hundred prints and dozens of drawings. In addition to portraits, he created genre scenes, landscapes, animal studies and biblical and historical scenes, both to his own designs and after a variety of past and contemporary masters. Little is known about his life. He was probably born in Haarlem around 1629. He was a student of the Haarlem painter and etcher Pieter Claesz. Soutman (ca. 1580-1657). In 1649-1650 Visscher engraved a series of historical portraits after Soutman’s designs. Thereafter Visscher worked independently, and joined the Haarlem chapter of the artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1653. He moved to Amsterdam around 1655. He died in 1658, either in Amsterdam or Haarlem, and is recorded as having been buried on January 16 of that year. (TNB 12/2012) Selected bibliography: Ackley, Clifford S. Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt. Exhibition catalog, pp. 201-202. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981. Schatborn, Peter. Dutch Figure Drawings from the Seventeenth Century. Exhibition catalog, pp. 100–101, nos 97–8. The Hague: Government Publishing Office, 1981.