Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck
Girl in blue
|Birth name||Johannes Cornelisz|
|Died||1662 (aged 59–60)
Verspronck was born and died in Haarlem. He was the son of the painter Cornelis Engelsz from Gouda, who taught him to paint portraits. In 1632 he became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke and started a successful career as a portraitist of mostly Catholic sitters in Haarlem. He may have been a Frans Hals pupil, and was strongly influenced by him, especially in his natural expressions and relaxed poses. He is best known for his exactness in painting details such as jewelry and lace, which made him quite popular with female sitters. Most notably, he won a lucrative commission in 1642 for a group portrait of the regentesses of the Heilige Geesthuis, at the time one of the wealthiest charity institutions in Haarlem, situated on the Krocht. This was won at the expense of Frans Hals himself, who had painted the regents of the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis in 1641 and fully expected to win the commission for the women. Twenty years later Verspronck even painted the regentesses of the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis.
Portrait of a Young Man, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, 1634
Portrait of Maria Strijp, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, 1652
According to Houbraken, he was called "Gerard Sprong", and was the son of the painter Cornelis Engelsz who made many schuttersstukken that could be seen in the Doelen (he meant the buildings in Haarlem that were used for target practise, and where today the central library and proveniershuis are located.
Verspronck produced about 100 known paintings. His Girl in blue appeared on September 15, 1945, on the bank note for 25 Dutch guilders. The bank note had a circulation of approximately 39 million, and was removed from circulation on February 1, 1953. His portrait of the Amsterdam merchant Jean le Gouche (1634) was in the collection of Hermann Göring. The portrait was auctioned recently, and came from the collection of Jacques Goudstikker; its current whereabouts are unknown.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck.|
- Engelsz in the RKD
- Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck in the RKD
- link to Verspronck's group portrait in the RKD
- (Dutch) Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck Biography in De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718) by Arnold Houbraken, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature