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Theodor Matham
Nationality: 
dutch
Gender: 
Male
Birth Date: 
1605
Birth Place: 
Haarlem
Death Date: 
1676
Death Place: 
Amsterdam
A 17th-century Dutch engraver, painter and draftsman, Theodor Matham is best known for the engravings he made after designs by others. Born in Haarlem, he was the second son and pupil of Jacob Matham (1571-1631), the printmaker and publisher who was the stepson of Hendrik Goltzius 1558-1617). He is recorded as being a member of the Haarlem civil guard in 1621. His earliest dated engraving, Still Life with Musical Instruments (Vanitas), was made in 1622 after his own design. He engraved book illustrations, including plates for Jacob Cats’s (1577-1660) famous emblem book Houwelyck (Marriage) in 1625 after drawings by Adriaen van de Venne (1589-1662). In the late 1620s Matham was among the artists hired by Statholder Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange (1584-1647), to decorate his hunting castle Huis Honselaarsdijk, in Honselersdijk, southwest of The Hague. He also made two engravings after Gerrit Honthorst (1590-1656) at this time. By 1630 Matham was in Paris, where he was a pupil of Cornelis Bloemaert (1603-1692). Together they created fifty-eight plates after drawings by Flemish painter Abraham Diepenbeek (1596-1675) and others illustrating the art collection of Jacques Favereau (1590-1675), published with text by Michel de Marolles (1600-1681) as Tableaux du temple des Muses. In 1633 Joachim von Sandrart (1606-1688), the German artist and writer, called Bloemaert and Matham to Rome, where they all lived in the palace of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani (1564–1637). With Bloemaert, Reinier van Persyn (ca. 1614-1668) and other artists, Matham engraved prints after drawings by Sandrart and others of Giustiniani’s collection of antique statuary, which was published in the first volume of Galleria Giustiniani in about 1637. Some sources state that Matham worked in Turin decorating one of the palaces of Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1587-1637), presumably at this time. Matham was back in Haarlem in 1637, where he joined the artists’ Guild of St. Luke. He married in Amsterdam in 1641, and stayed there until 1646, when he moved to The Hague. He was one of the founders of a new association of artists, the Confrerie Pictura, in The Hague in 1656. In the late 1650s he engraved a number of plates after Italian artists, including Titian (ca. 1488-1576) and Paolo Veronese (1528-1588). He returned to Amsterdam in 1660, and continued to make prints. During his career Matham engraved some 90 portraits, some after works by others and some to his own designs. His last dated work is from 1672, a portrait after Wallerant Vaillant (1623-1677). He died in Amsterdam in 1676. (TNB 11/2012) Selected bibliography: Bénézit, Emmanuel. Dictionary of Artists. Thieme, Ulrich and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bidenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. XXIV, pp. 238-239. Leipzig: E. A Seeman, 1930.