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Famous Dutch Painters from Dordrecht, Ancient Capital of Holland

Part 1

1. Bartholomeus Assteyn
2. Cornelis Bisschop
3. Abraham Bisschop
4. Frans van den Blijk


Note : Please do not email me with technical questions about paintings and their age and origin because I am not an expert but I only have gathered information about the Painters from the Netherlands and specially from Dordrecht.

 Dordrecht is not only known as the oldest city and ancient capital of Holland but also for the many famous painters who were born or lived in Dordrecht during the late Middle ages and later centuries.

 On the next pages you can find many works from these famous painters who were responsible for many styles of paintings and they immortalized the daily life and landscapes in the 15th to 19th century. Most of their masterpieces are nowadays part of collections in museums all over the world and of which many can be seen in the local Dordrechts Museum

Bartholomeus Assteyn
Dordrecht 1607 - Dordrecht 1677

Bartholomeus Assteyn was the son of a painter from Gent, Abraham Bartholomeusz. In 1631 he became, like his father, a member of the Sint Lucas-guild in Dordrecht. His last painting is dated 1669. Assteyn lived with his family in the Vriesestraat in Dordrecht. In 1677, the year of his dead, an inventory list was made of his belongings and the conclusion can be made that his family was not wealthy. Assteyn was a productive painter who produced many not expensive works.


Still life with flowers, shells and a path
Bartholomeus Assteyn,1631
Oil on panel 43,3 x 34 cm
Dordrechts Museum

The flowers are all realistic rendered though this combination of flowers are from different seasons (Roses and Tulips). The imperial crown in this still life is really the crown of this composition. This composition and the details are inspired on the work of Johannes Bosschaert.

Bartholomeus Assteyn,1635
Oil on panel 56 x 41 cm
Private collection


Grapes, peaches on a porcelain plate, with other fruit on a edge, and a large white and a tortoiseshell butterfly
Bartholomeus Assteyn, 1641
Oil on Panel  59,6 x 84 cm
Private collection



Still life with fruit and flowers in a basket

Bartholomeus Assteyn, 1629
Oil on Panel 52.5 x 67.5 cm
Private collection



Still Life of Flowers on a Stone Ledge
Bartholomeus Assteyn
Oil on Panel
Private collection

Cornelis Bisschop

Dordrecht 1630 - Dordrecht 1674

Corneli Bisschop was a pupil of Ferdinand Bol in Amsterdam. In 1653 he returned to Dordrecht, and became an artist of international allure. In 1674 art biographer Arnold Houbraken mention Bisschop as painter at the royal court of Denmark. The French king Louis XIV was also a client of Bisschop.

Many of his paintings re inspired on the work of Nicolaes Maes, Ferdinand Bol and Rembrandt.


Self portrait
Cornelis Bisschop, 1668
Oil on canvas 117 x 98,6 cm
Dordrechts Museum

On this painting Bisschop enfolds a second painting, an aspect of the 17th century way of painting called 'net-echte' He enfolds a painted curtain in a painting.


Cornelis Bisschop, 1660
Oil on panel 58,5 x 74,2 cm
Dordrechts Museum

In this interior with a young boy by a cradle lies the domestic atmosphere of the 17th century.


Mercurius and Argus
Cornelis Bisschop
Oil on canvas 99,4x 126,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum

Bisschop was probably inspired by a sketch of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, who, together witch Ferdiand Bol, was a pupil of Renbrandt. They probably med at home by Ferdinand Bol.


Allegory on the Raid on the Medway
Cornelis Bisschop, 1668
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The trip to Chatham in 1667, with a portrait of Cornelis de Witt.


Girl peeling an apple
Cornelis Bisschop, 1667
Oil on panel 70x57 cm
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam


Cornelis Bisschop, early 1660s
Oil on panel 39.4 x 33.7 cm
The Norton Simon museum, Pasadena

Originally thought to be by Nicolaes Maes, this painting is now generally attributed to Cornelis Bisschop. Like Maes, Bisschop was born in Dordrecht, and was a versatile practitioner of portraits, history and genre paintings, and it was especially this latter subject where the styles of the two artists intersect. But biblical paintings, such as this one depicting Bathsheba, are typical of Bisschop’s style that emanated from his teacher, Ferdinand Bol (1616–1680), especially seen here in the dramatically lit, smooth skin of her body. The picture tells the story from the second book of Samuel, chapter 11, when king David, standing atop his palace, sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing at a fountain beyond, and sends a servant with a letter asking her to come to him.


A Young Woman and a Cavalier
Cornelis Bisschop probably early 1660s
Oil on canvas, 97.8 x 88.3 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The picture is in good condition, although there are many small retouches over the entire surface. The glazes have been abraded in the red bodice of the woman especially, and to some extent in her face; the right contour of her head has been reinforced. The background is somewhat obscured by varnish.


A Young Man and a Girl playing Cards
Cornelis Bisschop
Oil on canvas 123,5 x 104 cm
National Gallery, London

This painting was in England and attributed to Rembrandt as early as 1775. Subsequently it has been thought to be by Nicolas Maes, who was in Rembrandt's studio in the years around 1650. This is not, however, entirely persuasive and, more recently, the work has been attributed to another Dordrecht painter, Cornelis Bisschop (1630 - 1674), who knew Maes's work well and imitated it. However, no signed painting by Bisschop displays the broad handling which is so characteristic of this picture and this interesting attribution must, for the time being, remain speculative.


Old Woman Sleeping
Cornelis Bisschop
Oil on canvas
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany


An infant bacchanal
Cornelis Bisschop
Oil on canvas 83.8 x 65.5 cm
Private collection


Portrait of an old woman reading holding a pearl necklace
Cornelis Bisschop, 1650 - 1659
Oil on Canvas 45.1 x 100 cm
Private collection

Abraham Bisschop

Dordrecht 1670 - Middelburg 1731

Abraham Bisschop was the youngest son of Cornelis Bisschop (1630-1674), his father died 3 years later. In c. 1700 he moved to Middelburg. He became a painter of scenes with several types of fowls.


A pair of mute swans in a pond beneath a balustrade, pair
Abraham Bisschop, 1722
Oil on canvas 141 x 123 c
Private collection

A mute swan preening itself on the edge of a pond, whilst its companion regards a kingfisher perched on a bough.


Peacocks and other fowl in a garden with a stone urn on a pedestal
Abraham Bisschop, 1706
Oil on canvas 158.8 x 146.1 cm
Private collection


Allegories of autumn and summer, A pair
Abraham Bisschop, 1722
Oil on canvas 161 x 236 cm
Private collection


A peacock, poultry and a magpie in a landscape
Abraham Bisschop, 1720
Oil on canvas 89.2 x 92.4 cm
Private collection


A Peacock on a fallen Vase by a marble female Bust beside a stone Fountain, with a Turkey, Poultry and Sunflowers in a mountainous Landscape
Abraham Bisschop, 1722
Oil on canvas 228 x 169.9 cm
Private collection

Frans van den Blijk

Dordrecht 1806 - Dordrecht 1876

Van der Blijk was born in an artistic family His father, Raphal, was an active art-collector and respected expert. Frans had frequently contacts with the Dordrechtsche artists such as J.C. Schotel and Abraham van Strij. On the age of fifteen Frans proved to be a talented artist and was accepted as a member of the Dordrecht drawing societssy Pictura. He became a pupil of J.C. Schotel. Together with other pupils and his master they made a journey along the coast of Holland in 1828. The next year they travelled to Flanders and France. In 1830 Frans joined exhibitions of paintings from living masters in Amsterdam en The Hague.

 In 1830 his career was intermittent during the Belgium war of independence and he took part with the Dordrecht civic guard to restrain the insurrection in the 'ten days campaign'. During this campaign he made an aquarelle showing the transport of soldiers by ship. In 1832 he continues his career as painter.



River view
Frans van den Blijk, ca. 1847
Oil on canvas 106,5 x 167,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum


A still water
Frans van den Blijk, ca. 1848
Oil on panel 73,7 x 94,1 cm
Dordrechts Museum

Even as his master J.C. Schotel he mostly painted sea and river views with color nuances in the sky parts of his paintings.


Sail ship with pilot boat on full sea
Frans van den Blijk
Oil on panel 27,4 x 36,8 cm
Museum Kröller-Müller museum, Otterlo

Dordts painter, apprentice of the marine painter J. C. Schotel, also from Dordrecht. Painted harbor, river and sea views, mostly with sail ship. He oriented chiefly and around Dordrecht, but made also trips along the coast of Flanders and France.


Moored trawers in forth Rammekes (Westerschelde)
Frans van den Blijk
Oil on panel 27,7 x 36,9 cm
Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Dordts painter, apprentice of the marine painter J. C. Schotel, also from Dordrecht. Painted harbor, river and sea views, mostly with sail ship. He oriented chiefly and around Dordrecht, but made also trips along the coast of Flanders and France.


Shipping in the Harbour at Calais
Frans van den Blijk
Pencil, pen and grey and brown ink, grey and brown wash, grey ink framing lines 27 x 39,4 cm
Private collection


Shipping near a harbour entrance
Frans van den Blijk, 1859
Oil on canvas 50.5 x 74 cm
Private collection

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