Jan Lievens was a prodigious artist and one of the foremost Leiden painters of the seventeenth century. Lievens’ work displays great versatility and a propensity for successful stylistic and technical experimentation. His close artistic relationship with Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) led to the development of the tronie. These were paintings from life of ordinary men and women, often portrayed in exotic costume. The tronie developed into a popular genre in its own right which Rembrandt painted throughout his career and which influenced artists like Gerrit Dou (1613–1675) and the Monogrammist I.S. (active 1633–1658).
Books on Jan Lievens
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., Anonymous Portraits: Dutch Seventeenth-century Tronies, exh. cat. New York, 2019.
Gabriele Groschner, Zwei Junge Wilde der Malerei und die Überwindung der Bildfläche: Figurenportraits von Rembrandt van Rijn und Jan Lievens aus der Sammlung Residenzgalerie Salzburg, 2018.
Blaise Ducos and Dominique Surh, Masterpieces of the Leiden Collection, exh. cat. Paris, 2017.
Stephanie S. Dickey, Rembrandt and his Cirlce: Insights and Discoveries, Amsterdam, 2017.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr, ed., Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Revisited, exh. cat. New Haven, 2008.
Christiaan Vogelaar, ed., Rembrandt and Lievens in Leiden, exh. cat. Zwolle and Leiden, 1991.
Cornelis de Bie, Het Gulden Cabinet vande Edel Vry Schilder-Const, 1662, reprint, Antwerp, 1971.