Jan van Huchtenburg

Haarlem, 1647

Jan van Huchtenburg (bapt. November 20, 1647, Haarlem – bur. July 2, 1733, Amsterdam), was a famous Dutch horse and battle painter, like Esaias van de Velde and Philip Wouwermans. He was first taught by Thomas Wijck. On his way to visit his brother in Rome, he may not have got further than Paris, where he served under Antony Francis van der Meulen in the Manufacture des Gobelins employing him for illustrating, sketching or designing.

In 1670 he settled at Haarlem. It seems he practised and kept a dealers shop in Haarlem or in The Hague. His style had now merged into an imitation of Wouwerman and Van der Meulen, which could not fail to produce pretty pictures of hunts and robber camps, the faculty of painting horses and men in action and varied dress being the chief point of attraction. Huchtenburg assisted Gerrit Berckheyde and painted his people and horses.

Later Huchtenburg ventured on cavalry skirmishes and engagements of regular troops generally, and these were admired by Prince Eugene of Savoy and King William III, who gave the painter sittings, and commissioned him to throw upon canvas the chief incidents of the battles they fought upon the continent of Europe. When he died at Bloemgracht in the Jordaan in 1733, Huchtenburg had done much by his pictures and prints to make Prince Eugene, King William and Marlborough popular. Though clever in depicting a mile or a skirmish of dragoons, he remained second to Philip Wouvermans in accuracy of drawing, and inferior to Van der Meulen in the production of landscapes. But, nevertheless, he was a clever and spirited master, with great facility of hand and considerable natural powers of observation.

After 1696 he regularly served as court painter to Prince Eugene, and we have at [a] Galleria Sabauda, a series of ten or eleven canvases, all of the same size depicting the various battles of the great hero, commencing with the Battle of Zenta (1697), Battle of Chiari (1701), Battle of Luzzara (1702), Battle of Blenheim (1704), Battle of Cassano (1705), Battle of Turin 1706), Battle of Oudenaarde (1708), Battle of Malplaquet (1709), Battle of Petrovaradin (1716) ending with the Battle of Belgrade (1717).

Here you can see the artist's works that are part of the collection.