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Abraham van der Doort

(c. 1580—1635) artist and curator


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(b ?1575–80; d London, before 23 June 1640). Dutch wax-modeller, drawing-master and administrator. He may have been the son of the engraver Peter van der Doort (fl c. 1590–1600) and the brother of the portrait painter jacob van Doort and the painter Isaak van der Doort. Having formerly been employed at the court of Rudolf II in Prague, he arrived in England c. 1610 to seek service with Henry, Prince of Wales, becoming Keeper of his Cabinet Room. After Henry's unexpected death in December 1612 and the subsequent dissolution of his household, van der Doort seems to have left England. Yet, on the re-establishment of the Prince of Wales's household for Henry's brother Charles, he successfully petitioned for reappointment to the Cabinet Room, with the aid of a letter of recommendation from Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (reg 1529–1627). Occasionally van der Doort contributed rarities to Charles's collections, which he had acquired himself. After Charles's succession in 1625, he was also appointed Surveyor of Pictures, Provider of Patterns of Coins and Master Embosser and Maker of Medals. These several posts—which he retained until his suicide—are indicative of his versatility. His connoisseurship and experience of foreign courts contributed to the taste and sophistication of the early Stuart court. However, it is as the compiler of a barely comprehensible, yet invaluable, catalogue of Charles's collections (c. 1639) that van der Doort is chiefly remembered. His original wax designs have not survived; nevertheless, it was his image of Charles I, stamped on the coinage, that was to become the most widely known among his subjects of all the King's portraits.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.


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