Jan de Bisschop

The Oostpoort

c. 1660
Brown ink, in the artist's handwriting: di oospoort te Delft; lower right, in graphite, 98 x 158 mm.
Amsterdams Historisch Museum
The Oostpoort, Jan de Bisschop

Amsterdam 1628–The Hague 1671

De Bisschop was one of the many gentleman of the seventeenth century who practiced art as a pleasant pastime rather than a profession. The same is true of several other Dutch artists now well know to connoisseurs of drawing, among them Constantijn Huygens the Younger (1682–1697), Jacob van der Ulft (1621–1689). Jacob Esselns (1626–1687 and Abraham Rutgers (1632–1699). De Bisschop studied law at Leiden University from 1648 to 1652 and then settled in The Hague as a representative of the Law Court of Holland, Zeeland and West Freisland. He belonged to the cultural elite of Holland, which also included his father-in-law, Caspar Barlaeus, professor at the Aetheneaum Illustre (later Amsterdam University) and a famous man of letters, and of course, the Huygens family. De Bisschop's treatises, Signorum Veterum Icones (1669) and Paradigmata Graphices (1671), were highly influential in fostering classical taste in the Netherlands.

Vermeer and the Delft School, edited by Walter Liedtke and Michiel C. Plomp, New York, 2001