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Harmen Jansz. Muller (aka Jan Harmensz Muller)

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Harmen Jansz. Muller
(Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1571 – 1628, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Based in Amsterdam, Jan Harmensz Muller was an important reproductive engraver of the late sixteenth century; his work is generally associated with that of the school of Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558–1617), the most prominent of Dutch engravers of that period. Jan Muller’s father, Harmen Jansz. Muller (Dutch, ca. 1540–1617) was also an engraver, and it is likely from him that Jan Muller first learned his craft. His father was a print and book seller in Amsterdam, and was often credited as the publisher of his son’s work. Although he designed about twenty of his some ninety known surviving engravings, Jan Muller was largely a reproductive engraver for other artists such as Goltzius, Bartholomeus Spranger (Flemish, 1546-1611) and Adriaen de Vries (Dutch, ca. 1545–1626). In the late 1590s, he was often employed to reproduce the designs of artists working at the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, employing an array of engraving techniques including the areas of hatching and broad, sinuous lines that characterize his most accomplished work. Most of Muller’s most accomplished engravings were produced prior to early in the decade of the 1600s; after that time he continued to produce engraved portraits and a few other works but the etching medium was taking the place of engraving for the next generation of reproductive printmakers. He is known to have produced only four compositions between 1624 and his death in 1628.

See "The New Hollstein Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700," The Muller Dynasty, Part II, Jan Harmensz. Muller compiled by Jan Piet Filedt Kok (Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Publishers in co-operation with the Rijkspentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, 1999).

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