Dictionary of

Art  &  Artist



 Abraham Blooteling



Abraham Blooteling         Pages: 1

(b Amsterdam, bapt 2 Dec 1640; d Amsterdam, bur 20 Jan 1690).

Dutch engraver, draughtsman and printseller. He was the son of a shopkeeper and the pupil and eventual heir of Cornelis van Dalen (1636–64). His dated prints commenced in 1665, and, as well as portraits, they include biblical, mythological and genre subjects, as well as six views of Amsterdam after Jacob van Ruisdael, and two of the Jewish burial-ground there (1670; also after van Ruisdael). During this period he produced many exceptional line-engravings, such as his sensitive portrait of Govaert Flinck and the equestrian Pieter Schout Muylman (see Hollstein, pp. 167, 179). Blooteling went to London in 1672, probably at the suggestion of David Loggan, whose plumbago miniatures he emulated in such works as the signed Noah Bridges (London, BM). He met Peter Lely and Mary Beale and engraved portraits after them. During his stay he became increasingly involved in mezzotint engraving and, in collaboration with his brother-in-law Gerard Valck, significantly advanced its technique through fully grinding the plate with the rocker in order to achieve a solid black ground; this produced controlled and intense contrasts by use of the scraper and burnisher alone. His large plates of Charles II, James, Duke of York and James, Duke of Monmouth (all after Lely; see Hollstein, pp. 223, 237, 244) are among the early masterpieces of the mezzotint, and his influence on the later English practitioners of the medium was immeasurable. He was again in Amsterdam by September 1678, when he acted as godfather to his nephew Abraham Valck, but he kept up his contacts with London. During his later years he concentrated on the business side of his activities, particularly the publication and sale of prints and maps. However, he still found time to engrave 265 plates for Agostino Lionardo’s Gemmae et sculpturae antiquae (Amsterdam, 1685).


Hercules with the Apple of the Hesperides
































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