Johannes Bronckhorst

A study of a butterfly

Johannes Bronckhorst, born in Leiden in 1648, was taught by his father from an early age. When his father died however, the young Johannes, aged 13, was sent to Haarlem, to work as a pastry baker in a shop owned by his cousin. He kept on drawing as a hobby, and eventually moved back to Hoorn to get married. He would remain there for the rest of his life.

Although he kept working as a baker, his drawings and watercolors of plants, birds and insects became very much sought after. Some were published as engravings, which in turn also became collector’s items. Johannes Bronckhorst taught several pupils, the most famous amongst which was Herman Henstenburgh. 

The present study forms part of a whole series of butterfly studies, most of which are in institutional collections today. Beautifully preserved and delightfully colorful, it shows off the artist’s talent for meticulous observation as well as his steady and talented hand.

Artist: Johannes Bronckhorst (Leiden 1648 - 1727 Hoorn)
Medium: ink and bodycolor on paper
Dimensions: 116 x 143 mm