The painter Isaac de Jouderville, son of Isaac de Jouderville and Magdalene Jansdr, was born in Leiden in 1612 or 1613. His father, a Frenchman from Metz, was a soldier when he married in Leiden in 1607, but soon after became an innkeeper and art dealer. The painter was born in the De Drie Haringen inn, on the corner of the Noordeinde and the Korte Rapenburg in Leiden. Later renamed ’t Schilt van Vranckrijck, it was one of the city’s most respectable establishments. When Prince Maurice visited Leiden with his entourage in 1618, he stayed at Jouderville’s inn. The building was diagonally opposite the parental home of Gerrit Dou and a stone’s throw from the Weddesteeg, the street where Rembrandt was growing up at that time. That Rembrandt would go on to teach both Dou and Jouderville in Leiden may in part be related to the fact that they lived in the same neighborhood.
Jouderville is one of the few Rembrandt pupils whose apprenticeship is supported by primary sources. Six receipts signed by Rembrandt for the years 1630 and 1631 demonstrate that Jouderville received lessons from the master as of 1 November 1629. Considering Jouderville’s age at the time, however, he most likely had been studying with Rembrandt for longer. The receipts are contained in the accounts handed over to Jouderville’s guardians after his parents died, one shortly after the other.1 The final receipt relating to his apprenticeship is dated 19 November 1631. This date suggests that Jouderville accompanied Rembrandt to Amsterdam and assisted him on a portrait the master was commissioned to make in that year.2 The few works by Jouderville himself from the early 1630s—Portrait of a Young Man and Bust of a Laughing Man with Gorget, both ca. 1631—are greatly indebted to Rembrandt’s “Leiden” style.3
In April 1632 Jouderville enrolled at Leiden University, presumably strictly for form’s sake as Rembrandt had done twelve years earlier, prompted by the privileges that came with enrollment, including tax exemption. In Leiden in 1636, Jouderville married Maria Lefevre, daughter of the art dealer Julius Lefevre and Maycke van Houten, both from Antwerp, who had immigrated for religious reasons to Amsterdam in 1600. Maria was born there around 1615, but moved with her parents to Leiden prior to 1623. Three weeks after Maria’s marriage, her elder brother, Pieter Lefevre, wed Magdalena de Jouderville, Isaac’s sister, in Leiden. In 1641 Julius Lefevre settled a debt he owed his brother-in-law, the Amsterdam painter Carel van Houten, with five works by Jouderville, including a market scene and a fruit still life.4
In May 1641 Jouderville and his wife, holding a certificate of membership of the Dutch Reformed Church, moved to Deventer, in the province of Overijssel, where his brother-in-law Pieter had established himself as an apothecary. Within two years, Jouderville and his wife moved again. A document dated 24 August 1643 states that Jouderville was about to relocate to Amsterdam, although it is possible he was already living there because a month earlier he witnessed his sister Magdalena’s second marriage, this time to the Antwerp painter and art dealer Juliaen Teniers, brother of the much more famous South Netherlandish genre painter David Teniers the Younger.
Jouderville’s son Jacob was baptized in Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Kerk on 26 March 1645. The artist must have died not long thereafter, because his widow married the art dealer Pieter van Melder in 1648. When she died in 1653 and Van Melder had an inventory drawn up of all their possessions, his professional stock contained almost ninety paintings, including four by Jouderville: a tronie, a still life, a landscape, and a picture of a horse.5 Also hanging in the house were two miniature portraits of Jouderville and his wife. Their daughter Maria married the famous painter Frederick de Moucheron in 1659, and her sister Isabella married the painter Abraham de Rijp in 1674.