A printmaker, painter and draftsman active in the beginning of Holland’s 17th-century Golden Age, Jan van de Velde II is known for his landscape prints and drawings that had an important influence on the work of other 17th-century Dutch artists, including Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). His father, Jan van de Velde I (1569-1623) was a famous calligrapher, draftsman and teacher, and his father’s younger brother Esias van de Velde (1587-1630) was a prominent landscape painter and printmaker. It is unclear whether Jan the Elder was living in Delft or Rotterdam when his son was born, but the family was soon in Rotterdam where Jan the Elder was a writing master at the Latin School. After being raised in Rotterdam, Jan the Younger was apprenticed to Jacob Matham in Haarlem in 1613. He joined the artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1614. Van de Velde created some 120 prints between 1615 and 1617, mostly landscape etchings, such as a series of eighteen prints in 1615 entitled Amoenissimae aliquot Regiunculae, et antiquorum monumentorum ruinae (Some Pleasing Landscapes and Ruins of ancient Monuments, Holl. 178-195). His prints included views of Rome and Naples, leading some scholars to speculate that he traveled to Italy, but others believe he based such work on the prints and drawings of Dutch artists who had traveled to Italy. In 1618 he married Stintje Fredericksdr in Enkhuizen, on the Ijsselmeer north of Amsterdam, but the couple returned to Haarlem. He is recorded as being a member of a Calvinist church in Haarlem in 1626, and was the commissioner of the Guild of St. Luke in 1635. While his early work was based on his own designs, most of his prints made after he married were reproductive prints after designs by others, such as his uncle Esias, Frans Hals (ca. 1581-1666) and Pieter Molijn (1595-1661). He created nearly 480 prints during his lifetime, including genre scenes and more than fifty portraits as well as landscapes. He is well-known for his night scenes, such as The Sorceress (Holl. 152), in which he adapted Hendrik Goudt’s (1580-1648) style of engraving to create a dark print with dramatic illumination of the nocturnal scene. Among his book illustrations were the majority of the etched and engraved illustrations after designs by Pieter Saenredam (1595-1665) for Beschryvinge ende Lof der Stad Haerlem in Holland (Description and Praise of the City of Haarlem, Haarlem: Adriaen Rooman, 1628), written by the pastor and historian Samuel Ampzing (1590-1632). About one hundred of van de Velde’s drawings survive, as well as a painting with his monogram and six other paintings attributed to him. He had a number of pupils, including his son Jan van de Velde III (1619/20-1662), Cornelis van Kittensteyn (1598-1652) and Simon Poelenburch (1594/95-1667). By July 5, 1641 van de Velde and his wife had returned to Enkhuizen, where he died on October 24 of that year. (TNB 12/2012) Selected bibliography: Ackley, Clifford S. Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt. Exhibition catalog, pp. 70-72, 102-105. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981 Luijten, Ger and Ariane van Suchtelen, et al., ed. Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580-1620. Exhibition catalog, pp. 320-321, 658-662. Amsterdam: Rijksmuesum; Swolle: Waanders Uitgevers, 1993.