(b. 1710, Dordrecht, d. 1792, Den Haag)


Aert Schouman was a prolific and versatile Dutch painter, glass engraver, printmaker, collector and dealer, who produced still-lifes, biblical and mythological themes, natural history studies, genre, historical works, portraits, sketches, etchings and mezzotints. He designed tapestries, painted wall-hangings and decorated objects such as fans, snuffboxes and even the glass windows of a magic lantern.

When 15 years old he served as apprentice to the Dordrecht artist Adriaen van der Burg. Schouman was unusual among painters in that he kept a detailed diary of his professional life from 16 October 1733 to 16 November 1753. He took on his first art pupil in 1733 and continued teaching for the rest of his life. Among his pupils were Jan van Os, Joris Ponse (1723-83), Wouter Dam (c. 1726-c. 1785), Gerrit Malleyn (1753-1816), Nicolaas Muys (1740-1808), Jacobus Perkois (1756-1804) and his own great-nephew, the marine painter Martinus Schouman (1770-1848). In 1736 he founded the Brotherhood of St. Luke, a fraternity of amateur art lovers from Dordrecht and environs.

Schouman was a leading artist in Zeeland between 1735 and 1785. During that period he lived and worked in Dordrecht, The Hague and Middelburg and taught pupils in Dordrecht and The Hague. He traveled to England twice and assembled an important collection of paintings.

His painting of Cornelis van Lill, the art collector and Maecenas, gives an insight into the relationship between artist and patron.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.