BORSSOM, Anthonie van
(b. 1631, Amsterdam, d. 1677, Amsterdam)

Biography

Dutch painter and draughtsman. There are no surviving documents to support the common assumption that he was a pupil of Rembrandt, although some of his drawings show the influence of Rembrandt's landscape etchings of the 1640s. These compositions always followed a particular formula: water in the foreground, a farm, windmill or ramshackle barn among trees in the middle ground and, to one side, a distant view of buildings below a low skyline. Various landscapes with windmills bearing the signature AVBorssom have these characteristics (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Dresden, Kupferstichkabinet; Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut).

Van Borssom's practice of applying pale watercolour washes to his drawings made them popular with collectors and imitators, especially in the 18th century. Although these drawings sometimes represent recognizable buildings, they are not intended to be topographical, unlike his drawings of churches, castles and city gates, which he must have made during a trip through Utrecht, Gelderland and the Lower Rhine area, including views of Naarden, Maartensdijk, Soest, Oosterbeek, Hoog-Elten and Cleves.