Occupation: Painter, Engraver
Movement: Dutch Golden Age
Jan van Goyen's Famous Artworks
“On the Beach at Scheveningen,” 1642
“A Wooden Landing Stage on a Frozen River, Churches and a Windmill at Left on the Distant Shore,” 1646
“Panoramic Landscape with Windmills and Boats,” 1648
“A Summer Landscape with Figures Near a Tumbledown House,” 1624
“Travellers and Peasants on a Path in a Village,” 1629
“Shipping in Choppy Waters,” 1650
“An Estuary Scene with Small Vessels in Light Airs, and a Distant View of Woudrichem,” 1650-55
“River Scene,” 1652
Jan van Goyen was a Dutch artist. Extremely prolific, he was one of the masters of landscape painting of the Dutch Golden Age. His Realist style documents the environs of the cities of Rotterdam, Leiden, The Hague, and Dordrecht, leaving us with excellent examples of the Dutch countryside of the 17th century.
Jan van Goyen's Early Years
Jan van Goyen was born to a shoemaker in the city of Leiden. He was interested in art and began attending art classes when he turned 10. He studied under a succession of teachers and was apprenticed as a glassblower for a while, before choosing to take up painting. Contemporary accounts inform us that he studied with Isaac van Swanenburgh, and then visited France
briefly in 1615 before going to Haarlem to study with Esaias van de Velde. Van de Velde was the only teacher who seems to have influenced the young van Goyen, as one can tell from his work from the period, which closely resembles his teacher’s.
Jan van Goyen's Beginnings of a Career
Van Goyen returned to Leiden in 1618 and married Annetje Willemsdr von Raelst. He was also admitted to the Guild of Saint Luke the same year. Though he managed to sell his paintings, they never fetched high prices, and so he tried his hand at a number of other ventures to keep afloat. He worked variously as an art dealer, an estate agent, and in the tulip market. Europe was then in the grip of what came to be known as “Tulip Mania.” The flowers were imported from Turkey at the time, and they became incredibly popular. They were an expensive item, and the craze reached its zenith in the Netherlands in 1633-37. The market crashed in 1637, and he lost a huge amount of money.
Jan van Goyen's Years in The Hague
Van Goyen moved to The Hague in 1632 with his wife and daughters. Here he painted some seascapes, and more importantly, in collaboration with Pieter Molijn and Salomon van Ruysdael, attempted a fresh approach to landscape painting that resulted in the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age. Some of his works
from this time are “The River View,” 1636 and “Village and Dunes,” 1647.
By the mid-1630s, Van Goyen was a well-established artist. He was elected head of the Guild of Saint Luke, the painters’ and artists’ guild, in 1638, and again in 1640.
Jan van Goyen's Later Years and Legacy
In 1649, van Goyen’s daughters Margaretha and Maria were married to the artists Jan Steen and Jacques de Claeuw, respectively.
One of his last commissions was to make a view of The Hague that was to be installed in the Burgomaster’s (chief magistrate) room. However, because of his dealings with the real estate and tulip market, he was deep in debt. He was forced to sell off many of his paintings in the last years of his life to pay off some of the debts. He, unfortunately, died in debt in 1656 in The Hague, leaving his widow with the unenviable task of selling off all their belongings.
Van Goyen was a prolific painter, with over 1,200 paintings and 1,000 drawings to his credit. He trained artists such as Nicolaes van Berchem, Jan Steen, and Adriaen van der Kabel. He greatly influenced many other Dutch painters, like Cornelis de Bie, Jan Coelenbier, Cornelis van Noorde, Abraham Susenier, Herman Saftleven, Pieter Jansz van Asch, and Abraham van Beijeren. You can buy Jan van Goyen's artworks online
Jan van Goyen's Museums / Collections
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham,
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia
Teylers Museum, Haarlem
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Louvre Museum, Paris
Books / Publications
“Jan Van Goyen, 1596-1656: Poet of the Dutch Landscape” by Hans-Ulrich Beck
“Jan Van Goyen” by Denise Ankele