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Pieter Schenck
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A prolific printmaker and publisher in Amsterdam and Leipzig, Pieter Schenck created nearly a thousand prints, mostly mezzotints, published another thousand etchings made by others, and was also a leading publisher of maps. Born in Elberfeld (now Wuppertal), Germany in 1660, he moved to Amsterdam early in the 1680s and became the pupil of Gerard Valck (1651/52-1726), whose daugher Agatha he married in 1687. Schenck and Valck bought the much of the stock of the publisher Jan Jansz. in 1683 or1684. Schenck’s early works were topographical prints. He learned mezzotint from Valck, and created many mezzotint portraits. Other than a few portraits, most of his prints reproduce the designs of others. He became a very successful businessman, with operations in Leipzig as well as Amsterdam. He is recorded as attending many of the Leipzig trade fairs in May and October from 1700 through 1711. At some point Schenck was appointed court engraver to August II, the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (1670-1733). Although sources differ, he probably died in Amsterdam in 1718 or 1719. (TNB 8/2012) Selected bibliography: Williamson, George C., ed. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. Vol. V, p. 36. London; G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1934. Thieme, Ulrich and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bidenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. XXX, pp. 29-30.Leipzig: E. A. Seeman, 1936.