VENNE, Adriaen Pietersz. van de
(b. 1589, Delft, d. 1662, The Hague)
Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
The picture shows an illustration for Jacob Cats's renowned domestic treatise, Houwelyck (Marriage), first published in 1625 (and in twenty subsequent editions during the seventeenth century alone).
The artist's brother, Jan van de Venne established a publishing business in Middelburg and dealt in art as well. His establishment with its accompanying garden became the gathering place for a cultured circle of prominent artists and poets. Adriaen van de Venne participated in the group's activities, as he had likewise resettled in Middelburg, having married there in 1614. He worked closely with his brother, composing poetry, making political prints, and creating illustrations for books published by the shop. In this latter capacity, van de Venne designs were reproduced as engravings in some of the most popular books of the period, thus enhancing his reputation in the process. His illustrations for Jacob Cats's Houwelyck are most extraordinary in this regard. The representation of space in these engravings, the little pictures on the wall, the lively figures, and touches of light and shadow anticipate genre paintings of future decades.