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Before the advent of photography, if you wanted a picture of something or someone, you had to draw it yourself -- or hire someone to do it for you. Artists (at least the good ones) could make a good living painting portraits, cityscapes, scenes of commoners, or still lifes; and also preserving for us the particulars of their lives, the styles of their clothes and houses and the details of their world. Here are some whose works have lived beyond their lifetimes.
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Dirck Jacobsz

borndied
1497 ca1567
a Dutch Renaissance painter. His exact birthplace is unknown, but it was somewhere near Amsterdam. Born into a family of painters, he was first trained by his father, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen. Jacobsz was deeply influenced by the Mannerist style of fellow Amsterdam painter more
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Lambert Jacobsz

borndied
1598 ca1636
a Dutch Golden Age painter and preacher. Jacobsz was born in Amsterdam. He was the father of Abraham Lambertsz van den Tempel, and primarily painted figures. He was also active in his local Mennonite community. According to the RKD, his apprentices were Govert Flinck, Jacob Adriaensz Backer, Heere Innes, and his son. He died at Leeuwarden in 1636 during an o...
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Charles Jacque

borndied
18131894
a French painter of animals (animalier) and engraver who was, with Jean-François Millet, part of the Barbizon School. He first learned to engrave maps when he spent seven years in the French Army.
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Cross-listed in Writers

Dura Jaksic

aka: Jakšic
borndied
18321878
a Serbian poet, painter, writer, dramatist, bohemian and patriot. Jakšic is one of the most expressive representatives of Serbian Romanticism. Passionate, impetuously imaginative, emotional, rebellious and imbued with romantic nationalist sentiment, his poems about freedom, his invectives against tyranny and his verses of lyric confession resonate with roma...
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Abraham Janssens

aka: Abraham Janssens I, Abraham Janssen I, Abraham Janssens van Nuyssen
borndied
15701632
a Flemish painter, who is known principally for his large religious and mythological works, which show the influence of Caravaggio. He was the leading history painter in Flanders prior to the return of Rubens from Italy.
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Victor Honore Janssens

aka: Victor Honoré, Victor Honorius
borndied
16581736
a Flemish painter of religious and mythological works and a tapestry designer. Following the 1695 Bombardment of Brussels by the French, Janssens was commissioned to produce a number of paintings for the Brussels Town Hall to replace those destroyed during the attack on the city. He also worked for the local guilds and churches. He gained a solid reputation ...
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John Wesley Jarvis

borndied
1781 ca1839
an American painter. In 1803 he entered into a partnership with Joseph Wood. His partnership with Wood lasted seven years. Together they executed engravings, miniatures, and larger portraits. Jarvis had learned the technique of miniature painting from Edward Malbone; and by the time of the Jarvis/Wood partnership, he was also producing his first oil painting...
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Cross-listed in Performers

Johannes Rienksz Jelgerhuis

borndied
17701836
a 19th-century painter and actor from the Northern Netherlands. He was also known for interiors and architectural studies with a good eye for perspective. His painting of the interior of the bookshop of his publisher is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. He painted topographical works in Delft, Rotterdam, Ghent, and Amsterdam.
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Rienk Jelgerhuis

borndied
17291806
a Dutch painter, engraver and draftsman. Jelgerhuis was born in Leeuwarden. He mainly made his fame as a travelling portrait-painter and has no fewer than 7,763 portraits standing to his credit. He taught his son, Johannes Jelgerhuis, who became an accomplished painter, illustrator and actor. Rienk Jelgerhuis died in Amsterdam.
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Tako Hajo Jelgersma

borndied
17021795
an 18th-century Dutch painter. According to the RKD he didn't move to Haarlem until 1757. He was the pupil of Frans Decker and Wigerus Vitringa. He painted landscapes, portraits, and copies of old masters. His grisailles followed the manner of Jacob de Wit. His pupils were Johan Bernard Brandhoff, Johannes Petrus van Horstok, Cornelis van Noorde, Martinus va...
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William Jennys

borndied
17741859
an American primitive portrait painter who was active from about 1790 to 1810. He traveled throughout New England seeking commissions in rural areas and small towns.
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Cross-listed in Astronomers

Jiao Bingzhen

aka: Chiao Ping-chen
bornactivedied
16891700s-17261726
a noted painter and astronomer. In painting he is noteworthy as one of the first Qing dynasty painters to be influenced by the West. He is also was among the more significant portrait and miniature painters in the early Qing. He was skilled in painting people, landscapes, and buildings. The Western influence in his art came from his exposure to the Jesuits a...
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Jan Joest van Calcar

borndied
1450 ca1519
a Dutch painter from either Kalkar or Wesel (both now in Germany), known for his religious paintings. Joest has been compared to David and Memling, but he more properly belongs to the school of Jan van Scorel. One of the features of Joest's work is the exquisit...
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Alfred Johannot

borndied
18001837
a French painter and engraver. He was born in Offenbach, Germany. His family were French refugees who went to Germany after the Edict of Nantes was revoked. He started out as an engraver, and then came into being a professional painter in 1831. His work was collected by Louis Philippe I and was displayed at the Palace of Versailles. He often painted contempo...
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Cross-listed in Composers

Hinrich Philip Johnsen

aka: Henrik
borndied
1716/171779, Feb 12
an organist, harpsichordist and composer, came to Sweden with Adolf Fredrik’s royal court orchestra in 1743. Organist of Klara Church 1745, court organist 1763. Chief conductor of the French theatre company 1763?71, member of the Order of Freemasons 1757. Founding member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music 1771, archivist 1771-72. Concurrently, he taught...
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David Johnson

borndied
18271908
a member of the second generation of Hudson River School painters. Johnson's signature works are usually small in format, tightly painted, delicately handled and richly colored. Based on copious preliminary drawings and studies of specific trees in their natural environment, his paintings are accurate and inviting representations of Northeastern scenery and ...
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Eastman Johnson

borndied
18241906
an American painter and co-founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, with his name inscribed at its entrance. He was best known for his genre paintings, paintings of scenes from everyday life, and his portraits both of everyday people and prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, more
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Joshua Johnson

borndied
1763 ca1824 ca
a biracial American painter from the Baltimore area. Johnson, often viewed as the first person of color to make a living as a painter in the United States, is known for his naïve paintings of prominent Maryland residents. It was not until 1939 that the identity of the painter of elite 19th-century Baltimoreans was discovered by art historian and genealogist...
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John Johnston

borndied
1753 ca1818
John Johnston was born in Boston, the son of engraver and decorative painter Thomas Johnston (c. 1708-1767). Of four brothers who became painters, John Johnston was the most talented. He was apprenticed after his father's death to coach and heraldic painter John Gore. In 1773 he joined his brother-in-law Daniel Rea, Jr. in the painting firm of Johnston and R...
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Philippe Jonaert

borndied
16911734
painted 'The Bombardment of Dunkirk, 11th August 1695,' 1717-18


Claude de Jongh

borndied
1606 ca1663
a Dutch Golden Age painter. According to the Netherlands Institute for Art History he was a landscape painter who travelled to England and is registered there several times from 1625-1650.
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Ludolf Leendertsz de Jongh

borndied
16161679
a Dutch Golden Age painter, and member of the vroedschap. He set up shop in Rotterdam, and his earliest signed paintings date from that year. In 1650's he was one of the most fashionable painters of Rotterdam. He experimented with various innovations in portraiture in this period, both from a psychological perspective with expressions, but also with the use ...
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Johan Barthold Jongkind

borndied
18191891
a Dutch painter and printmaker. He painted marine landscapes in a free manner and is regarded as a forerunner of Impressionism.Jongkind's most frequent subject was the marine landscape, which he painted both in the Netherlands and in France. Many of his works depict the Seine, particularly the area near Notre-Dame Cathedral. He painted watercolors out-of-do...
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Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen

borndied
15931661
an English painter of portraits of Dutch or Flemish parentage. He was active in England, at least from 1618 to 1643. He moved to Middelburg in the Netherlands in 1643. Between 1646 and 1652 he lived in Amsterdam, before settling in Utrecht, where he was buried. Janssens painted many portraits of emerging new English gentry. His early portraits were panel pai...
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Hans Jordaens

borndied
15551630
a Flemish Baroque painter whose religious works are often confused with that of other painters with the same name. According to Karel van Mander he had been a pupil of Martin Van Cleve who first became a member of the Antwerp guild in 1579. He was a good landscape and staffage painter currently (ca.1603-1604) living in Delft, who took as his wife, the second...
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Hans III Jordaens

borndied
15901643
a Flemish Baroque painter. He painted historical allegories, interiors, animals, and art galleries. He also painted staffage for Abraham Govaerts. His works are often confused with works of other painters by the same name.
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Jacob Jordaens

borndied
15931678
a Flemish painter, draughtsman and tapestry designer known for his history paintings, genre scenes and portraits. After Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, he was the leading Flemish Baroque painter of his day. Unlike those contemporaries he never travelled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their intellectua...
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Cross-listed in ClergyWriters

David Joris

aka: Jan Jorisz, Joriszoon
borndied
1501 ca1556, Aug 25
an important Anabaptist leader in the Netherlands before 1540. By trade David Joris was a glass painter or tinsel painter, having learned the art in Antwerp; in 1522 he painted windows for the church at Enkhuizen, North Holland. n 1533 he accepted the ideas of the Anabaptists, and was baptized in Delft by Obbe Philips. For a time he was a theological combata...
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Matthew Harris Jouett

borndied
17881827
an American portrait painter. Jouett painted in New Orleans, Natchez, Mississippi, and Kentucky. He was commissioned by the Kentucky legislature to paint a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette. Jouett also painted Thomas Jefferson.
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Jean Jouvenet

borndied
16441717
a French painter, especially of religious subjects. The great mass of works that he executed, chiefly in Paris, many of which, including his celebrated Miraculous Draught of Fishes (engraved by Jean Audran) are now in the Louvre, show his fertility in invention and execution, and also that he possessed in a high degree that general dignity of arrangement and...
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Asensio Julia

aka: Juliá
borndied
17601832
a Spanish painter and engraver best known as a student and follower of Francisco Goya. Julià was born in Valencia, and studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos de Valencia from 1771 to 1775. He is thought to have died in Madrid. In 2008, The Colossus, a work long associated with Goya, was re-attributed to Juliá by specialists at the Museo...
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Cross-listed in SculptorsArchitects

Juan de Juni

bornactivedied
1507 ca1533-1570s1577
a French–Spanish sculptor, who also worked as a painter and architect. He was born in Joigny, France, but began working in Italy, where he was first employed. In 1533 he went to live in León and Medina de Rioseco before moving to Valladolid in 1540. He was best known as a religious sculptor who incorporated great emotion into his figures.
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