The biography of Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (1589 - 1662)
Van de Venne was born in Delft in 1589. His parents had fled from Protestant persecution in the Southern (Spanish) Netherlands during the 1580s.
Van de Venne was mostly self-taught although he may have also studied with local painters in Holland. He was educated in Leiden, where he became part of the vibrant political and intellectual community around the University. He lived in Middelburg from 1614 where he was influenced by Jan Bruegel the Elder and his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder. His earliest dated paintings are from that year.
In 1625, van de Venne moved to The Hague and joined the Guild of Saint Luke in 1625, becoming the guild’s dean twelve years later. There he remained until his death. He executed several commissions for the Dutch stadholder Frederik Hendrik and in 1656 he was one of the founding members of The Hague painters’ confraternity “Pictura”.
Van de Venne painted histories, portraits and genre scenes. From 1618, he was also active as a printmaker and book illustrator, notably for the popular poet Jacob Cats. His literary accomplishments included satire and political propaganda, as well as several books of poetry.
He died November 12, 1662 in The Hague.