Cornelius Janssen - Encyclopedia


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CORNELIUS JANSSEN, or JANSEN (sometimes JOHNSON) (1593-1664), Flemish painter, was apparently born in London, and baptized on the 14th of October 1593. There seems no reason to suppose, as was formerly stated, that he was born at Amsterdam. He worked in England from 1618 to 1643, and afterwards retired to Holland, working at Middelburg, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and dying at one of the last two places about 1664. In England he was patronized by James I. and the court, and under Charles I. he continued to paint the numerous portraits which adorn many English mansions and collections. Janssen's pictures, chiefly portraits, are distinguished by clear colouring, delicate touch, good taste and careful finish. He generally painted upon panel, and often worked on a small scale, sometimes producing replicas of his larger works. A characteristic of his style is the very dark background, which throws the carnations of his portraits into rounded relief. In all probability his earliest portrait (1618) was that of John Milton as a boy of ten.

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