Jacob Toorenvliet

Jacob Toorenvliet

(Leiden 1640 – 1719 Leiden)

How to cite:

Bakker, Piet. "Jacob Toorenvliet." In The Leiden Collection Catalogue. Edited by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. New York, 2017.
https://www.theleidencollection.com/archive/.

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Jacob Toorenvliet was baptized in Leiden on 1 July 1640. His parents were Abraham Toorenvliet (ca. 1610–92) and Maria Willemsdr van der Hulle. Jacob’s father was a drawing master and glass painter, and as of 1636 a member of the Glassmakers’ Guild, of which he was either headman or dean almost continuously between 1645 and 1687. In 1649 he also became a member of the recently founded Guild of Saint Luke, giving his profession as “Constschilder” (“painter”) in two documents. 1 He was elected headman and dean of the Guild of Saint Luke, presumably for his administrative skills, as he does not seem to have been a particularly productive painter. 2 He did, however, enjoy a great reputation as a drawing master, 3 a skill that benefitted not only his son, but also Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635–81), and Mathijs Naiveau (1647–1726). 4 A year after Jacob’s mother died in 1649, his father married Geertruy Somers, the widow of Jan Dou, a producer of church glass. Abraham and Jan’s brother, Gerrit Dou (1613–75), assumed guardianship of Jan’s surviving young son. 5

Jacob Toorenvliet learned the rudiments of painting from his father and subsequently completed his training with Gerrit Dou. 6 He drew his first self-portrait in 1655, at the young age of fifteen, 7 and signed his first painting four years later. 8 Evidence of his independence is also found in a 1660 document, in which he is first mentioned as a “schilder” (“painter”). 9 At the same time, he produced drawings for engraved book illustrations and received his first portrait commissions, the most notable ones in 1660 from Cornelis Schrevelius (1608–61), dean of the Latin school, and in 1661 from Ole Borch, a Danish scholar residing temporarily in Leiden. 10 After 1661 the Leiden sources remain quiet regarding Toorenvliet. His name only surfaces again in a 1674 archival document, in which he is said to be “uytlandich” (“abroad”). 11 In a document dated two years later one reads that he was living “tot Wenen in Oostenrijk” (in Vienna, Austria). 12

In his biography of Toorenvliet, Arnold Houbraken also notes that the artist lived abroad for a long time, but only in Italy. He does not mention Vienna, where the painter actually did reside for a long time. 13 Houbraken reports that Toorenvliet traveled together with the Catholic history painter Nicolaes van Roosendael (1634/35–86) to Rome, arriving there when he was “ruim 29 jaren” (over 29 years old), hence around 1670. 14 In Rome, Toorenvliet subsequently “assiduously and diligently . . . devoted his time to drawing after paintings by Raphael, Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto, and furthermore after the most famous works of art hanging in palaces and churches.” 15 Like so many other northern painters in Rome, Toorenvliet joined the Bentvueghels (“Birds of a Feather,” an artists’ fraternity), who gave him the nickname Jason. After some time Toorenvliet decided to leave the Eternal City. He moved to Venice, where he lived for “verscheyden jaren” (several years) and married a wealthy woman, who accompanied him when he returned to the Dutch Republic.

Even though Houbraken’s biography of Toorenvliet is incomplete, his assertion that the artist traveled to Rome has never been doubted. Not even when it emerged that Toorenvliet not only lived in Vienna from 1674 to 1679—the year of his return—but also probably from 1668 to 1670; at least, this is inferred by various paintings in Austrian museum collections dated 1668 and 1669 and the twenty-six engravings by the artist in a Vienna publication of 1670. 16

These indications never led anyone to investigate whether Toorenvliet might have lived in Vienna continuously from around 1668 to 1679. This omission is due in part to Toorenvliet’s 1669 portrait of Carel Quina (1622–89), which is assumed to have been painted in Rome. 17 In that year, Quina is thought to have stopped in the Eternal City on his way back to the Netherlands from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. However, in his travel journal, which he only wrote once he was home in Amsterdam, he barely mentions this return journey. 18 That this trip passed through Rome thus rests entirely on the assumption that Toorenvliet was living there in 1669. 19 Quina’s travelogue does include a passage from which it emerges that he traveled via Vienna on the return trip, as he had done on the outward one. Writing extensively about his Vienna adventures, which all seem to have taken place on the outward journey, Quina also reflects on his visit to the grave of a deceased friend. According to Quina, this took place “after I had been to Jerusalem.” 20

That Toorenvliet spent time in Rome and also “verscheyden jaren” (several years) in Venice is not contested here. What is disputed is the timing of 1670 to 1673. This objection gains support from the fact that Houbraken contradicts himself. Immediately following his digression on Toorenvliet’s artistic training, he writes: “When he had made such progress in art that he could draw well and paint a good portrait, he left Leiden and went to Rome to verse himself further in art.” 21 Later in the text (when Toorenvliet has arrived in Rome), Houbraken observes that he “[had] then already painted many portraits, for which he had gained fame.” 22 To illustrate this he refers to the aforementioned Schrevelius family portrait, including the paean it inspired, and concludes with “Dit was in den jare 1661” (This was in the year 1661).

The content of both passages allows for no other interpretation than that Toorenvliet went to Rome soon after completing his training and having acquired some experience as a portraitist. 23 This will have been shortly after 1661, because most of Toorenvliet’s (few) dated portraits were painted between 1659 and 1661. It therefore seems likely that Houbraken was mistaken and meant “ruim 20 jaren” (over 20 years old) when he wrote “ruim 29 jaren” (over 29 years old). 24

A departure date not long after 1661 also accords better with the information we have about Nicolaes Roosendael, Toorenvliet’s travel companion. Roosendael—to whom only a dozen paintings can be attributed at present—was living in Vienna already in 1655, working together with Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627–78) on a painting of Saint Benedict intended for the Abbey of Weingarten in southern Germany. 25 The next signs of life come from Amsterdam; Roosendael made an exceptionally good match there in 1665, became a citizen a year later, and set up a workshop where he trained several pupils. 26 What he did between 1655 and 1665 is not documented. However, the crisp composition and bright palette of his earliest known, independent, signed painting, the 1664 Carrying of the Cross27 reflects Italian art to such an extent that it seems more logical to date Roosendael’s sojourn in Rome between 1655 and 1665 rather than around 1670, when he appears to have been leading a settled and comfortable life in Amsterdam. 28

If Roosendael stayed on in Vienna after 1655, it is possible that Toorenvliet met him there around 1662 and that the two artists then traveled on to Rome, like Van Hoogstraten before them. 29 When Roosendael made his return journey around 1664, Toorenvliet may have accompanied him up to Venice and subsequently stayed there for “verscheyden jaren” (several years). We know with certainty that he was acquainted with Roosendael and also maintained contact with him after the trip to Rome, for Roosendael’s wife witnessed the baptism of Toorenvliet’s son Abraham in Amsterdam years later. 30

Around 1667 Toorenvliet traveled from Venice to Vienna, where he may have lived continuously until the end of 1679. 31 If Houbraken is correct and Toorenvliet did indeed take his Venetian wife to Leiden, his stay there was brief. This intermezzo, however, would have to occurred well before 1679, given that her death in that year would have been Toorenvliet’s main reason for returning to the Dutch Republic for good.

While we may not know the exact details of Toorenvliet’s life between 1661 and 1679, he was certainly back in Leiden in 1679. He did not remain a widower for long; in that same year he married Susanna Verhulst, although where is unknown. 32 The couple settled in Amsterdam and was soon followed there by Jacob van der Sluis (1660?–1732), who had become Toorenvliet’s pupil in Leidenv. 33 Toorenvliet took possession of a house on the corner of the Herengracht and the Reguliersgracht. Shortly thereafter on 24 May 1680, their daughter Lidia was baptized in De Krijtberg, a clandestine Catholic church, suggesting that Toorenvliet had converted to Catholicism in Italy or Austria. 34 In March 1682 their son Abraham, who would become a painter, was baptized in Amsterdam, at which, as mentioned above, Catherina Deyl, the wife of Toorenvliet’s former travel companion Nicolaes Roosendael, served as a witness.

The artist was again living in Leiden in 1686, when he joined the Guild of Saint Luke and enrolled in the university, the latter undoubtedly because of the tax benefits this entailed. His return may have coincided with the establishment of the Leidse Tekenacademie (a drawing academy), an initiative he undertook together with Willem van Mieris and Carel de Moor. 35 He inventoried his father’s sizable collection of paintings following his death in 1692. 36 Jacob’s name appears in the guild records with nearly uninterrupted regularity, alternately as headman and dean, from 1695 to 1712, the year he stepped down. And in 1717 he is recorded in the university as “informator pingendi,” which may mean that he gave drawing lessons to students.

Toorenvliet’s extensive, generally high-quality oeuvre and his important position in the Leiden painters’ community suggest that he had a successful career. Houbraken, however, contends that Toorenvliet did not fare well at all. That he was talented went without saying, ‘‘however, it is painful to behold that others who are less artistic, as the saying goes, just roll rather than having to crawl through the world.” 37 Toorenvliet’s straitened circumstances at the end of his life are confirmed by a tax assessment register of 1716, in which the artist was exempted from payment because he was “onmagtigh” (unable) to do so. 38 He died in January 1719, and was brought to Oegstgeest for burial on 25 January. This may have taken place from the house of his brother, the notary public Dirck Toorenvliet, with whom he lived after his wife died in 1713 and whose family he portrayed so beautifully in 1687. 39

-Piet Bakker

  1. See RAL, NA not. C. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 804, 11 October 1658, and idem, inv. 808, 4 May 1662.

  2. At present no works can be attributed to him, and in 17th-century Leiden estates his name is linked only to “een stukje van twee joden” (a picture of two Jews). This is mentioned in his own inventory, for which his son Jacob provided the attributions, see: RAL, Bibl. Leiden en Omstreken, inv. 67504 (f) Aantekeningen over Leidse schilders en de kunsthandel (1692). Incidentally, it is not certain whether this inventory was of Abraham Toorenvliet’s estate. Not a single reference is made to the owner in the introduction and its “attribution” to him relies on an interpretation of the description itself, see: C. W. Fock, “Kunstbezit in Leiden in de zeventiende eeuw,” in Lunsingh Scheurleer et al., Het Rapenburg: Geschiedenis van een Leidse gracht, 6 vols. and index (Leiden 1986–92), (Leiden, 1990), 5: 8–9. It is interesting to note that various paintings of Jewish people by Jacob Toorenvliet are known, all dated 1675 and thus painted in Vienna. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002).

  3. Houbraken calls him “een vermaart Glasschilder, en Teekenmeester” (a renowned glass painter and a drawing teacher). Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:2.

  4. For Naiveu’s pupilage, Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 228. See the biography of Frans Van Mieris in this catalogue.

  5. RAL NA not. C. van Berendrecht, 27 December 1656.

  6. Houbraken mentions only his father as his teacher. The generally accepted assumption that he completed his training with Dou is undocumented. His father’s specialty appears to have been drawing instruction, hence the supposition that Toorenvliet followed the same path as Van Mieris and Naiveau is not so far-fetched, certainly not after his father married Gerrit Dou’s sister-in-law.

  7. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 105, cat. no. E 3.29, ill.

  8. This is The Young Composer, oil on panel, 35 x 27 cm., signed and dated 1659, see Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 2, cat. no. A1.

  9. RAL, NA not. C. Scharpenbrant, inv. 806, 30 March 1660. It is striking that he did not become a member of the guild during his first active period in Leiden. He did so only in 1686 upon his return from a lengthy sojourn abroad. The most logical explanation is that in his early years he assisted his father and was therefore exempt from membership.

  10. Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:166–67. Portrait of the Schrevelius Family, oil on canvas, 115 x 155 cm, signed and dated: J.Toorenvliet Fc 1660, private collection. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 2, cat. no. A3; see also eadem, “Brüderliche Bande. Jacob Toorenvliet malt das Familienporträt seines Bruders Dirck,” Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 67 (2006): 279–80 (fig. 2). Portrait of Ole Borch, oil on panel, 50 x 40 cm, signed and dated: JToorenvliet Fec.Ao.1661, Frederiksborg, Nationalmuseum, Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 5, cat. no. A11.

  11. RAL, NA not. P. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 149, 17 December 1674. In this document Abraham Toorenvliet states that his sons Christiaen and Jacob “beyde uitlandich synde” (are both abroad).

  12. RAL, NA, not. P.C. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 1276, 13 May 1676.

  13. Alexander Hajdecki, “Die Niederländer in Wien,” Oud-Holland 25 (1907): 12; Th. von Frimmel, “Jacob Toorenvliet als Wiener Maler und die Verteilung seiner Arbeiten in Österreichischer Galerien,” in Von Alter und Neuer Kunst (Vienna, 1922), 1: 69–81; Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 62–83, esp. 62.

  14. When it was discovered that Toorenvliet was not born in 1641, as Houbraken contended, but in 1640, 1670 was still maintained as the year of his departure from Leiden, as this was supported by a notarial deed published by Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541. It concerned Toorenvliet’s travel companion Roosendael, who drew up his will in Amsterdam on 5 March 1670. At the time this was a common precautionary measure taken by people about to embark on a long and dangerous journey. For example, see: P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 203.

  15. “Naarstig en yverig . . . zyn tijd waargenomen met teekenen naar de Schilderyen van Rafael, Paulo Veronees, Tintoret, en zoo voorts naar de beroemdste konstwerken die in paleizen en Kerken ophingen.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:167.

  16. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 29 n76; Geza Galavics, “Netherlandish Baroque Painters and Graphic Artists in 17th-Century Central Europe,” in Baroque Art in Central Europe: Crossroads (Exh. cat. Budapest Történneti Múzeum, 1993), 94.

  17. Portrait of Carel Quina (1622–1689), oil on copper, 40 x 31 cm, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. A 2254. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 42–44.

  18. For a transcript of this travel account and a critical commentary, see Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005).

  19. Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005), 79.

  20. “Nadat ick van Jeruzalem gecomen was.” Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005), 133. Van der Vlis believes that this comment is probably a slip of the pen. She says this in part because she assumes that Quina traveled back via Rome, given that he had himself portrayed by Toorenvliet on his return trip (see n. 26). However, now that it has become clear that Toorenvliet was most likely in Vienna and not in Rome in 1669, Quina’s comment takes on an entirely different meaning. In fact, it was not an error, but an accurate rendering of facts.

  21. “Wanneer hy nu zoo veer in de konst gevordert was dat hy braaf teekenen en een goet pourtret schilderen konde, vertrok hy van Leyden naar Rome, om zig voorts in de Konst te oefenen.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 164.

  22. “Toen al veele pourtretten geschildert [had], daar hy roem door behaald heeft.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 165.

  23. Of the 111 dated paintings attributed to Toorenvliet, the earliest three are all portraits. It would appear that after his training Toorenvliet first worked in this genre.

  24. Perhaps it was not Houbraken who was mistaken, but the person preparing his manuscript for printing. As is known, Houbraken’s widow edited the third volume of his Schouburg in 1721. In this process the 0 may have been read erroneously as a 9. Anyone with some experience of 17th-century handwriting knows how easily this mistake is made.

  25. Michiel Roscam Abbing, De schilder & schrijver Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1627–1678 (Leiden, 1993), 48–49; Robert Schillemans, “Gabriel Bucelinus and ‘The names of the most distinguished European painters,’” Hoogsteder-Naumann Mercury 6 (1987): 25–37. Also see the biography of Samuel van Hoogstraten in this catalogue.

  26. Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541–48.

  27. The Carrying of the Cross, oil on canvas, 210 x 199 cm, Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent. P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in: Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 199–200.

  28. Moreover, Roosendael’s The Carrying of the Cross includes motifs that seem directly derived from Barocci’s Descent from the Cross in the Cathedral of Perugia. P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in: Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 200. In 1670 he inherited 25,000 guilders, 7,000 guilders of which he used to buy land on the Herengracht, subject to the obligation of building a house on it. In 1673 he donated stones for the building of a Catholic church. R. Schillemans, “Zeventiende- en vroegachttiende-eeuwse wisselaltaarstukken in de Amsterdamse Begijnhofkerk,” De Zeventiende Eeuw 15 (1999): 211. That he led a life of affluence is furthermore evidenced by his wife’s estate, which in 1686 included a sizeable collection of paintings. All in all, a journey to Rome in 1670 seems highly unlikely, given that the available information indicates that he was building up a life for himself in Amsterdam in just these years. Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541–48.

  29. It is also possible that the two men began their journey in the Netherlands. Dirkse, for instance, refers to a “Ter Borch-achtig” (Ter Borch-like) family portrait, which once bore Roosendael’s signature and the year 1668, neither of which are now visible. Dirkse maintains the attribution, but dates the portrait to 1658 on the basis of the sitter’s clothing. If he is correct Roosendael must have been in the Republic in that year. The Rijksmuseum, the present owner of the work, forwards Caspar Netscher as its possible maker and maintains a dating between 1649 and 1684. The work is Family Scene, panel, 114 x 166.5 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. A 2556.

  30. SAA, Doopb. 358/1 (RK Kerk de Duif).

  31. A sojourn of several years is also indicated by the hundred paintings by Toorenvliet that Von Frimmel found in Austrian—mostly private—collections. Th. von Frimmel, “Jacob Toorenvliet als Wiener Maler und die Verteilung seiner Arbeiten in Österreichischer Galerien,” in Von Alter und Neuer Kunst (Vienna, 1922), 1:69–81. See also see Eric J. Sluijter et al., Leidse fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630–1760 (Exh. cat. Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1988), 239n12.

  32. According to Karau, Susanna Verhulst was baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam on 31 December 1662. Her parents were Markus Kleynhens and Maria Verhulst (SAA, Doopb. 44/26 NK; Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 87). However, this cannot be correct, because eight days after this baptism “Maria Verhulst met haer kraemkintie in een kist de vrou van Markus Kleynhens buyten de Heylige Wechspoort op’t leertouwers pat tegen over de Geele Bock in een eygen graft in de middelkerck in No 33 bleven na 2 kinderen” (Maria Verhulst with her newborn in a coffin, the wife of Markus Kleyn outside of the gate of the Heyliche Wech on the Leertouwerspad opposite the Geele Bock in a separate grave in the nave at no. 33, survived by two children). The couple had earlier had two children named Susanna, but as it was not customary to give the same name to more than one child in a single family, these two must have died before Susanna (the third) was born. The children who survived Maria Verhulst are Ghertie (b. 1651) and Jacobus (b. 1656). On the basis of known data, this Maria Verhulst cannot have been the mother of Toorenvliet’s second wife.

    Susanna Verhulst’s name only occurs twice in the Leiden archives. In 1702 she witnessed the marriage before the aldermen of her daughter Lidia to the agent Johannes van Ruyschenberg. A 1706 burial deed states that she, the wife of Jacob Toorenvliet, is buried in Oegstgeest. Exactly who Susanna Verhulst was, and where and when the couple married, remain a mystery; no marriage certificate has been found either in Amsterdam or Leiden.

  33. This emerges from a letter dated 16 April 1680 from Jacobus van der Stoffe, regent of the Leiden Weeshuis, to the Burgerweeshuis in Amsterdam, in which he requests his Amsterdam colleague provide Jacob van der Sluys with lodging for one to two years so that he can follow his teacher Jacob Toorenvliet, with whom he was already training in Leiden, to Amsterdam. E. Pelinck, “Hoe een Leidse weesjongen tot kunstschilder bestemd werd,” Jaarboekje over geschiedenis en oudheidkunde van Leiden en omstreken 40 (1948): 199–203.

  34. This conversion cannot be determined until we know more about his wife’s religious background.

  35. For the founding of the Leiden drawing academy and the artistic climate in Leiden in the last quarter of the 17th century, see Piet Bakker, “Crisis? Welke crisis? Kanttekeningen bij het economische verval van de schilderkunst in Leiden na 1660,” De Zeventiende Eeuw 27, no. 2 (2011): 232–69.

  36. See endnote 2 of this biography.

  37. “T is egter smartig, als men ziet dat anderen die minder konst beziten, als het spreekwoort zeit, door de waerelt rollen, daar zij er door kruipen moeten.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:167. For Toorenvliet and the market for his work, see E. J. Sluijter et al., Leidse fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630–1760 (Exh. cat. Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1988), 42.

  38. For the reference to the tax assessment register, see Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 89. However, Karau does not link the comment “Jacob Toorenvliet, onmagtigh” (Jacob Toorenvliet, unable) to dire circumstances, while this most certainly does refer to his penury. It should be noted that the tax was imposed on a person’s income and not their capital. Toorenvliet’s reasons for living with his brother were thus practical as well as financial.

  39. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 89; eadem, “Brüderliche Bande. Jacob Toorenvliet malt das Familienporträt seines Bruders Dirck,” Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 67 (2006).

  • Houbraken, Arnold.  De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en schilderessen, III (2nd ed., The Hague 1753, reprint Amsterdam 1976), 164–67.
  • Von Frimmel, Th.  “Zu den Malern Toorenvliet.”  Blätter für Gemäldekunde, 4/2 (1907): 41–42.
  • Hajdecki, Alexander.  “Die Niederländer in Wien.”  Oud-Holland 25 (1907): 9–26.
  • Von Frimmel, Th.  “Jacob Toorenvliet als Wiener Maler und die Verteilung seiner Arbeiten in Österreichischer Galerien.”  In Von Alter und Neuer Kunst, I (Vienna 1922): 69–81.
  • Sluijter, Eric J. et al.  Leidse fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630–1760.  Exh. cat. Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal 1988, 239–49.
  • Dirkse, P.  “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5-86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam.”  In Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden 2001), 198–207.
  • Karau, Susanne H.  Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719).  Berlin 2002 Diss.
  • Karau, Susanne H.  “Brüderliche Bande. Jacob Toorenvliet malt das Familienporträt seines Bruders Dirck.”  Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 67 (2006): 279–85.

See RAL, NA not. C. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 804, 11 October 1658, and idem, inv. 808, 4 May 1662.

At present no works can be attributed to him, and in 17th-century Leiden estates his name is linked only to “een stukje van twee joden” (a picture of two Jews). This is mentioned in his own inventory, for which his son Jacob provided the attributions, see: RAL, Bibl. Leiden en Omstreken, inv. 67504 (f) Aantekeningen over Leidse schilders en de kunsthandel (1692). Incidentally, it is not certain whether this inventory was of Abraham Toorenvliet’s estate. Not a single reference is made to the owner in the introduction and its “attribution” to him relies on an interpretation of the description itself, see: C. W. Fock, “Kunstbezit in Leiden in de zeventiende eeuw,” in Lunsingh Scheurleer et al., Het Rapenburg: Geschiedenis van een Leidse gracht, 6 vols. and index (Leiden 1986–92), (Leiden, 1990), 5: 8–9. It is interesting to note that various paintings of Jewish people by Jacob Toorenvliet are known, all dated 1675 and thus painted in Vienna. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002).

Houbraken calls him “een vermaart Glasschilder, en Teekenmeester” (a renowned glass painter and a drawing teacher). Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:2.

For Naiveu’s pupilage, Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 228. See the biography of Frans Van Mieris in this catalogue.

RAL NA not. C. van Berendrecht, 27 December 1656.

Houbraken mentions only his father as his teacher. The generally accepted assumption that he completed his training with Dou is undocumented. His father’s specialty appears to have been drawing instruction, hence the supposition that Toorenvliet followed the same path as Van Mieris and Naiveau is not so far-fetched, certainly not after his father married Gerrit Dou’s sister-in-law.

Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 105, cat. no. E 3.29, ill.

This is The Young Composer, oil on panel, 35 x 27 cm., signed and dated 1659, see Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 2, cat. no. A1.

RAL, NA not. C. Scharpenbrant, inv. 806, 30 March 1660. It is striking that he did not become a member of the guild during his first active period in Leiden. He did so only in 1686 upon his return from a lengthy sojourn abroad. The most logical explanation is that in his early years he assisted his father and was therefore exempt from membership.

Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:166–67. Portrait of the Schrevelius Family, oil on canvas, 115 x 155 cm, signed and dated: J.Toorenvliet Fc 1660, private collection. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 2, cat. no. A3; see also eadem, “Brüderliche Bande. Jacob Toorenvliet malt das Familienporträt seines Bruders Dirck,” Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 67 (2006): 279–80 (fig. 2). Portrait of Ole Borch, oil on panel, 50 x 40 cm, signed and dated: JToorenvliet Fec.Ao.1661, Frederiksborg, Nationalmuseum, Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 5, cat. no. A11.

RAL, NA not. P. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 149, 17 December 1674. In this document Abraham Toorenvliet states that his sons Christiaen and Jacob “beyde uitlandich synde” (are both abroad).

RAL, NA, not. P.C. van Scharpenbrant, inv. 1276, 13 May 1676.

Alexander Hajdecki, “Die Niederländer in Wien,” Oud-Holland 25 (1907): 12; Th. von Frimmel, “Jacob Toorenvliet als Wiener Maler und die Verteilung seiner Arbeiten in Österreichischer Galerien,” in Von Alter und Neuer Kunst (Vienna, 1922), 1: 69–81; Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 62–83, esp. 62.

When it was discovered that Toorenvliet was not born in 1641, as Houbraken contended, but in 1640, 1670 was still maintained as the year of his departure from Leiden, as this was supported by a notarial deed published by Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541. It concerned Toorenvliet’s travel companion Roosendael, who drew up his will in Amsterdam on 5 March 1670. At the time this was a common precautionary measure taken by people about to embark on a long and dangerous journey. For example, see: P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 203.

“Naarstig en yverig . . . zyn tijd waargenomen met teekenen naar de Schilderyen van Rafael, Paulo Veronees, Tintoret, en zoo voorts naar de beroemdste konstwerken die in paleizen en Kerken ophingen.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:167.

Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 2: 29 n76; Geza Galavics, “Netherlandish Baroque Painters and Graphic Artists in 17th-Century Central Europe,” in Baroque Art in Central Europe: Crossroads (Exh. cat. Budapest Történneti Múzeum, 1993), 94.

Portrait of Carel Quina (1622–1689), oil on copper, 40 x 31 cm, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. A 2254. Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 42–44.

For a transcript of this travel account and a critical commentary, see Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005).

Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005), 79.

“Nadat ick van Jeruzalem gecomen was.” Ingrid van der Vlis, Door het land van de Sultan. Carel Quina’s pelgrimage naar Jeruzalem (1668–1671) (Zutphen, 2005), 133. Van der Vlis believes that this comment is probably a slip of the pen. She says this in part because she assumes that Quina traveled back via Rome, given that he had himself portrayed by Toorenvliet on his return trip (see n. 26). However, now that it has become clear that Toorenvliet was most likely in Vienna and not in Rome in 1669, Quina’s comment takes on an entirely different meaning. In fact, it was not an error, but an accurate rendering of facts.

“Wanneer hy nu zoo veer in de konst gevordert was dat hy braaf teekenen en een goet pourtret schilderen konde, vertrok hy van Leyden naar Rome, om zig voorts in de Konst te oefenen.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 164.

“Toen al veele pourtretten geschildert [had], daar hy roem door behaald heeft.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3: 165.

Of the 111 dated paintings attributed to Toorenvliet, the earliest three are all portraits. It would appear that after his training Toorenvliet first worked in this genre.

Perhaps it was not Houbraken who was mistaken, but the person preparing his manuscript for printing. As is known, Houbraken’s widow edited the third volume of his Schouburg in 1721. In this process the 0 may have been read erroneously as a 9. Anyone with some experience of 17th-century handwriting knows how easily this mistake is made.

Michiel Roscam Abbing, De schilder & schrijver Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1627–1678 (Leiden, 1993), 48–49; Robert Schillemans, “Gabriel Bucelinus and ‘The names of the most distinguished European painters,’” Hoogsteder-Naumann Mercury 6 (1987): 25–37. Also see the biography of Samuel van Hoogstraten in this catalogue.

Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541–48.

The Carrying of the Cross, oil on canvas, 210 x 199 cm, Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent. P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in: Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 199–200.

Moreover, Roosendael’s The Carrying of the Cross includes motifs that seem directly derived from Barocci’s Descent from the Cross in the Cathedral of Perugia. P. Dirkse, “Nicolaes Roosendael (1634/5–86). Historieschilder voor katholiek Amsterdam,” in: Begijnen, pastoors en predikanten. Religie en kunst in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden, 2001), 200. In 1670 he inherited 25,000 guilders, 7,000 guilders of which he used to buy land on the Herengracht, subject to the obligation of building a house on it. In 1673 he donated stones for the building of a Catholic church. R. Schillemans, “Zeventiende- en vroegachttiende-eeuwse wisselaltaarstukken in de Amsterdamse Begijnhofkerk,” De Zeventiende Eeuw 15 (1999): 211. That he led a life of affluence is furthermore evidenced by his wife’s estate, which in 1686 included a sizeable collection of paintings. All in all, a journey to Rome in 1670 seems highly unlikely, given that the available information indicates that he was building up a life for himself in Amsterdam in just these years. Abraham Bredius, Künstler Inventare, 8 vols. (The Hague, 1915–22), 2, 1916, 541–48.

It is also possible that the two men began their journey in the Netherlands. Dirkse, for instance, refers to a “Ter Borch-achtig” (Ter Borch-like) family portrait, which once bore Roosendael’s signature and the year 1668, neither of which are now visible. Dirkse maintains the attribution, but dates the portrait to 1658 on the basis of the sitter’s clothing. If he is correct Roosendael must have been in the Republic in that year. The Rijksmuseum, the present owner of the work, forwards Caspar Netscher as its possible maker and maintains a dating between 1649 and 1684. The work is Family Scene, panel, 114 x 166.5 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. A 2556.

SAA, Doopb. 358/1 (RK Kerk de Duif).

A sojourn of several years is also indicated by the hundred paintings by Toorenvliet that Von Frimmel found in Austrian—mostly private—collections. Th. von Frimmel, “Jacob Toorenvliet als Wiener Maler und die Verteilung seiner Arbeiten in Österreichischer Galerien,” in Von Alter und Neuer Kunst (Vienna, 1922), 1:69–81. See also see Eric J. Sluijter et al., Leidse fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630–1760 (Exh. cat. Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1988), 239n12.

According to Karau, Susanna Verhulst was baptized in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam on 31 December 1662. Her parents were Markus Kleynhens and Maria Verhulst (SAA, Doopb. 44/26 NK; Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 87). However, this cannot be correct, because eight days after this baptism “Maria Verhulst met haer kraemkintie in een kist de vrou van Markus Kleynhens buyten de Heylige Wechspoort op’t leertouwers pat tegen over de Geele Bock in een eygen graft in de middelkerck in No 33 bleven na 2 kinderen” (Maria Verhulst with her newborn in a coffin, the wife of Markus Kleyn outside of the gate of the Heyliche Wech on the Leertouwerspad opposite the Geele Bock in a separate grave in the nave at no. 33, survived by two children). The couple had earlier had two children named Susanna, but as it was not customary to give the same name to more than one child in a single family, these two must have died before Susanna (the third) was born. The children who survived Maria Verhulst are Ghertie (b. 1651) and Jacobus (b. 1656). On the basis of known data, this Maria Verhulst cannot have been the mother of Toorenvliet’s second wife.

Susanna Verhulst’s name only occurs twice in the Leiden archives. In 1702 she witnessed the marriage before the aldermen of her daughter Lidia to the agent Johannes van Ruyschenberg. A 1706 burial deed states that she, the wife of Jacob Toorenvliet, is buried in Oegstgeest. Exactly who Susanna Verhulst was, and where and when the couple married, remain a mystery; no marriage certificate has been found either in Amsterdam or Leiden.

This emerges from a letter dated 16 April 1680 from Jacobus van der Stoffe, regent of the Leiden Weeshuis, to the Burgerweeshuis in Amsterdam, in which he requests his Amsterdam colleague provide Jacob van der Sluys with lodging for one to two years so that he can follow his teacher Jacob Toorenvliet, with whom he was already training in Leiden, to Amsterdam. E. Pelinck, “Hoe een Leidse weesjongen tot kunstschilder bestemd werd,” Jaarboekje over geschiedenis en oudheidkunde van Leiden en omstreken 40 (1948): 199–203.

This conversion cannot be determined until we know more about his wife’s religious background.

For the founding of the Leiden drawing academy and the artistic climate in Leiden in the last quarter of the 17th century, see Piet Bakker, “Crisis? Welke crisis? Kanttekeningen bij het economische verval van de schilderkunst in Leiden na 1660,” De Zeventiende Eeuw 27, no. 2 (2011): 232–69.

See endnote 2 of this biography.

“T is egter smartig, als men ziet dat anderen die minder konst beziten, als het spreekwoort zeit, door de waerelt rollen, daar zij er door kruipen moeten.” Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1976), 3:167. For Toorenvliet and the market for his work, see E. J. Sluijter et al., Leidse fijnschilders: van Gerrit Dou tot Frans van Mieris de Jonge 1630–1760 (Exh. cat. Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, 1988), 42.

For the reference to the tax assessment register, see Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 89. However, Karau does not link the comment “Jacob Toorenvliet, onmagtigh” (Jacob Toorenvliet, unable) to dire circumstances, while this most certainly does refer to his penury. It should be noted that the tax was imposed on a person’s income and not their capital. Toorenvliet’s reasons for living with his brother were thus practical as well as financial.

Susanne H. Karau, Leben und Werk des Leidener Malers Jacob Toorenvliet (1640–1719) (PhD diss., Universität Berlin, 2002), 1: 89; eadem, “Brüderliche Bande. Jacob Toorenvliet malt das Familienporträt seines Bruders Dirck,” Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 67 (2006).