Jan Pieterszoon Saenredam Biography

Jan Pieterszoon Saenredam




Dutch painter and printmaker Jan Pieterszoon Saenredam was born in Zaandam, Holland, in 1565. Orphaned as a child, he was put in the care of his uncle, who sent his nephew to learn the basket weaving trade in addition to his traditional schooling, so as to secure a future profession. However, Saenredam's teachers were impressed with his advanced penmanship, which included adornments in the style of illuminated texts. They encouraged his artistic pursuit and he began an apprenticeship as a cartographer. Soon after, with the help of a lawyer who recognized his skills, he was able to secure a second apprenticeship, now with the celebrated artists Jacques de Gheyn II and Hendrik Goltzius, under whom he became a master renderer by the age of 24 in 1589 -- the same year he created his first map. Both mentors, bitter at the success of a newcomer, forced Saenredam out of their circle, and he relocated to Amsterdam.

Saenredam remained in Amsterdam for two years before returning to his hometown in 1595. He married Anna Pauwelsdochter and started a family, opening his own print studio where he created engravings after Goltzius and several other Dutch artists, as was tradition for printmakers of the time, and executed works of his own design. IN his relatively short career he created over 170 plates. Saenredam died of typhus in 1607.