Hoorn, The Netherlands
A Dutch natural history artist of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Johannes Bronkhorst came to art by an unlikely path. Taken to Haarlem from his birthplace in Leiden in 1661 after the death of his father, he was apprenticed to his mother’s cousin, a pastry cook. In 1670 he settled in Hoorn, north of Amsterdam, where he remained a pastry cook, married and began to draw. His subjects were primarily animals, birds, insects and flowers, often done in watercolors. His compositions reflect the newfound fascination with the natural world that Dutch artists rendered as truthfully as possible, a manifestation of the scientific spirit that flourished in17th-century Holland. (JRG 1985, rev. TNB 5/2012) Selected bibliography: Johnson, Robert Flynn and Joseph R. Goldyne, Master Drawings from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. San Francisco: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1985.