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Jacobus Neeffs
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A reproductive printmaker and book illustrator in 17th-century Antwerp, Jacobus Neeffs is best known for his ten engraved portraits after Anthony van Dyck (1599-1640) included in the enlarged portrait series, The Iconography, published by Gillis Hendricks (?-1677) in 1645-46. Neeffs was born in 1604 and was baptized on September 26, the son of a cloth merchant and innkeeper. No record of an apprenticeship by him has been found; he may have been the pupil of Lucas Vorsterman the Elder (1595-1675). Some sources suggest Neeffs was a pupil of Marinus Robyn van der Goes (ca. 1599-ca. 1639), but since they were both about the same age and entered the artists’ Guild of St. Luke during the Guild’s year 1632-1633, the suggestion seems unlikely. The first signed and dated engraving by Neeffs is from 1632, one of several engravings he made after works by the Flemish painter Gerard Seghers (1591-1651). In that year he joined a society of young men in Antwerp; other members included van Dyck and Seghers. The Guild records show that Neeffs had two pupils, Jacques van de Velde in 1644-45 and Emmanuel van Winghen in 1660-1661, but little else is known about them. Neeffs engraved plates after Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), being one of the last of the group of engravers employed by Rubens to create prints after his paintings. He created prints after the works of several Flemish artists, including Jacob Jordaens the Elder (1593-1678) and Theodoor van Thulden (1606-1669). Neeffs provided illustrations for some ten books, including a mathematical text, a book about the Franciscans, and an emblem book. He contributed eight plates to the set of twenty-six engravings celebrating the entry of Cardinal Ferdinand into Ghent in 1636 (Holl. 99-106). The last documented activity by Neeffs is a lease he entered into in 1667 for a house in Antwerp. The date of his death is not recorded. (TNB 2/2013) Selected Bibliography: Duverger, Erik and Danielle Maufort. “Jacques Neeffs,” in Carl Depauw and Ger Luijten. Anthony van Dyck as a printmaker. Exhibition catalog, pp. 380-381. Antwerp: Antwerpen Open, 1999.