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Jacob de Wit

(1695–1754, Amsterdam)

Jacob de Wit from Amsterdam is best known today as an outstanding master of decorative painting. In 1708 he went to Antwerp, where he studied under Jacob van Hal from 1710, becoming a member of the local Guild of St. Luke in 1714. Having returned to Amsterdam, de Wit executed a large number of ceiling frescoes, chimneypiece paintings, overdoors and bas-relief imitations in grisaille, which earned him a reputation and spread his fame far beyond the borders of Holland. At this time De Wit also devoted his attention to other genres such as religious painting and, as the years passed, the inspiration he derived from various stylistic sources became readily apparent. While his early work is reminiscent of Flemish Baroque painting, especially that of Peter Paul Rubens, his later work comprises stylistic elements from the Rococo and early Classicism.