- Also known as
primary name: Lievens, Jan
other name: Livens, Jan
- individual; painter/draughtsman; printmaker; Dutch; Male
- Life dates
- Born in Leiden, the son of an embroiderer from Ghent. In Leiden he studied with Joris van Schooten from 1615, becoming a pupil of Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam from 1619-21. From 1625/26 until 1631 he worked independently in Leiden alongside Rembrandt, who although one year older, started his artistic training with Lastman some six years later.
In England from 1632-4, where he received royal patronage, he was in Antwerp by 1635, marrying there in 1638 and remaining, apart from a period in Holland in 1639-40 to execute a commission for the Town Hall at Leiden, until 1644 when he settled in Amsterdam. He was commissioned to produce work both for the Huis ten Bosch near The Hague (1650), where he resided from 1654-8, and the new Amsterdam Town Hall (1656 and 1661). During 1670-71 he was again living in The Hague, followed by a period in Leiden, but was back in Amsterdam in February 1674, four months before his death. Other official commissions included work for the chamber of the Holland provincial assembly in The Hague (1664), and for the Rijnlandshuis in Leiden (1666 and 1669-70).
His early work resembles and initially influenced Rembrandt; but from the 1630s the influence of Van Dyck dominates his style. He produced a considerable number of prints (Hollstein lists 96 etchings and 10 woodcuts, one in chiaroscuro) as well as paintings and drawings of every kind of subject-matter.
- Hollstein (108 nos)
A. Wheelock, et al. 'Jan Lievens: a Dutch master reconsidered' exhibition NGA Washington, 2008 (Stephanie Dickey on prints; Greg Rubinstein on drawings)
B. Schnackenburg, 'Jan Lievens Friend and Rival of the Young Rembrandt: cat. raisonne of his early Leiden work, 1623-1632' (Berlin, 2015).