Portrait - Houbraken Jacobus- Thomas Otway -1747
Portrait, Houbraken Jacobus, Thomas Otway
Artist: Houbraken Jacobus
Size: 37cm x 24cm
Description: Matted in acid free mat. Original copperplate engraving.
Later hand colouring
Jacobus Houbraken (25 December 1698 – 14 November 1780) was a Dutch engraver born in DoDrdrecht, the son of the artist and biographer Arnold Houbraken (1660–1719), whom he assisted in producing a published record of the lives of artists from the Dutch Golden Age.
In 1707 he moved to Amsterdam, where for years he helped his father with his magnum opus, his art historical work The Great Theatre of Dutch Painters (1718–1721). When his father died he assisted his mother with the last proofs of the manuscript before publishing. With this project he started his portraits of Netherlandish celebrities, that are today, in many cases, the only likenesses left of these people. He was influenced by studying the works of Cornelis Cort, Jonas Suyderhoef, Gerard Edelinck and the Visschers whilst in Amsterdam
Houbraken devoted himself almost entirely to portraiture. His work became famous through his collaboration with the historian Thomas Birch and artist George Vertue, on the project entitled, Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, published in parts in London from 1743 to 1752, and from which our plates come
He died, aged 81 in Amsterdam.
His oeuvre of more than 400 portrait engravings form an important record for art provenance. His portraits were often set in an oval frame, with a subtitle with the subject's claim to fame. Under that in small letters, he placed his notes about the original oil portrait.