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Salomon Savery
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A member of a Dutch family of artists, Salomon Savery was a printmaker and publisher in 17th-century Amsterdam. He is particularly known for his book illustrations. His father Jacob Savery (1565-1603) and Jacob’s two brothers Roelandt (1576-1639) and Hans I (1564- ca.1626) probably left Flanders during the 1580s to escape religious persecution and settled in Protestant Haarlem. Jacob joined the Haarlem artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1587. He later moved to Amsterdam, where he became a citizen in 1591. His three sons Hans II (1589-1654), Jacob II (1592-after 1561) and Salomon all became artists. They were probably all trained by their father. The earliest known etching by Salomon Savery was made in 1610. What little we know about him is from his prints and a few surviving documents. The date of his birth is uncertain; the document dated January 6, 1616 recording his betrothal to Maeyke Panten (d. 1652) states his age as 22, which could mean he was born in 1593 or 1594. His profession is listed as an engraver, although he created prints with etching as well as engraving. Although Savery worked in Amsterdam for most of his life, he apparently was in England in 1632. A will made by Savery and his wife dated October 15, 1652 provided bequests for their son Jacob Savery III (1617-1666), who also became a printmaker and publisher, and five daughters. Maeyke died fifteen days later. In 1664 Savery became a member of the Amsterdam book dealers’ guild. A prolific printmaker, Savery created hundreds of prints. These included both single-sheet prints and frontispieces and illustrations for books. The Hollstein catalog raisonné lists 257 items by him, but many of these are books with multiple illustrations. For example, he created a title page and fifty illustrations for “Zinne-Beelden, oft Adams Appel,” an emblem book by Jan van der Veen (1578-1659), published in 1642 (Holl. 181) and reprinted in eight more editions through 1745. Some of Savery’s prints were after his own designs, but many were after designs by other artists, such as Pieter Quast (1606-1647) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). Scholars disagree about the place and date of Savery’s death. Several sources state he died in Amsterdam after February 21, 1678. However, two Dutch scholars have apparently found a record in Haarlem stating that he died in that city in 1683 and was buried there on October 16, 1683. (TNB 3/2013) Selected bibliography: Thieme, Ulrich and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bidenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. XXIX, p. 597-598. Leipzig: E. A. Seeman, 1935.