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Jacob de Gheyn II

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Jacob de Gheyn II

"Jacobus de Geyn, Antwerp Pict. et Sculpt."
by Hendrick Hondius (1610)
Born 1565
Died 29 March 1629 (aged 64)
The Hague
Spouse(s) Eva Stalpaert van der Wiele
  • Painter
  • Engraver
Nationality Dutch
Influenced Adam van Breen
Genres Drill manual
Notable work(s) Wapenhandelinghe van Roers
Musquetten ende Spiessen
Concordance by Michael Chidester

Jacob de Gheyn II (Jacques; c. 1565 - 29 Mar 1629) was a Dutch painter and engraver, whose work shows the transition from Northern Mannerism to Dutch realism over the course of his career. De Gheyn painted some of the earliest female nudes, vanitas, and floral still lifes in Dutch art. He is credited with creating over 1,500 drawings, including landscapes and natural history illustrations.

De Gheyn was born in Antwerp and received his first training from his father, Jacob de Gheyn I, a glass painter, engraver, and draftsman.[1] In 1585, he moved to Haarlem, where he studied under Hendrik Goltzius for the next five years. He moved again, to Leiden, in the middle of the 1590s. De Gheyn married Eva Stalpaert van der Wiele of Mechelen in 1595. His son, Jacob de Gheyn III, was born in 1596, and grew to become an engraver in his own right, as well as the subject of a portrait by Rembrandt.[2]

De Gheyn's work attracted the attention of wealthy sponsors, and his first commission was for an engraving of the Siege of Geertruidenberg from Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. This event, from 27 March to 24 June 1593, had been more of a demonstration of power by Prince Maurits, than an actual war, and had even attracted tourists. As a publicity stunt, the siege and its subsequent engraving were successful in propagating an image of Prince Maurits as an able general. Around 1600, de Gheyn abandoned engraving, and focused on painting and etching. Moving to The Hague in 1605, he was employed often by Dutch royalty, designing a garden in the Buitenhof for Prince Maurice which featured the two first grottoes in the Netherlands. After Maurice's death in 1625, de Gheyn worked for his brother, Frederick Henry.

HEMA Contributions

In 1607, de Gheyn created a series of prints illustrating militia drill with the caliver, musket, and pike. They were published in 1607-8 in the Hague, Netherlands, under the title Wapenhandelinghe van Roers Musquetten ende Spiessen ("Weapon-handling of Calivers, Muskets, and Pikes"); also included were anonymous descriptions and commentary in Danish, Dutch, English, French, and German editions.

In this concordance, the text of the commands and descriptions are placed alongside the illustrations; this layout was used in editions as early as 1609, but the first edition places them in three separate sections. The text can be read in the 1607-8 sequence on the transcription pages. Because a modernized English translation has not yet been produced from one of the original languages, the text of 1607 English publication has been placed in the first transcription column.

Additional Resources

The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.



  1. Gheyn, de. (2000). The Grove Dictionary of Art. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  2. Kren, Emil, & Marx, Daniel. Gheyn, Jacob de II. (n.d.) Web Gallery of Art. Retrieved January 26, 2007.