Johannes Bronckhorst

A study of a cricket

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. For the present work, the artist worked on a very fine type of parchment known as vellum. This almost translucent material is a very good medium for conveying the fine details of insects, such as wings and antennae.

One of the pair of crickets (left) is depicted from above, the other from below; this shows that the artist took his time to carefully study the insects from all sides in a meticulous and detailed manner.

Artist: Johannes Bronckhorst (Leiden 1648 - 1727 Hoorn)
Medium: ink and bodycolor on vellum
Dimensions: 118 x 145 mm