Bloemart, Cornelius

, the youngest son of Abraham, was born in 1603, at Utrecht. The first principles of drawing and painting he learned from his father but his natural inclination for the 'art of engraving was so powerful, that he applied himself wholly to the pursuit of it. He first studied under Crispin de Pass, an engraver much more famous for the neatness than the good taste of his works. Not satisfied with what he learned from this artist, he went to Rome, in order to profit by studying the works of the greatest masters and in that city (where the far greater part of his engravings were made) he died in a very advanced age. “The manner of engraving adopted by this excellent artist, appears to me (says Mr. Strutt) to be not only quite original, but the source from which we may trace that style in which the greatest and best French masters excelled; those, I mean, who worked with the graver only. He covered the lights upon his distances, and the other parts of his piates whicn required tinting, with great care. The lights, whether on the distant hills, trees, buildings, or figures, in the engravings prior to his | time, had been left quite clear, and by so many white spots scattered in various parts of the same design, the harmony was destroyed, the subject confused, and the principal figures prevented from relieving with any striking effect. By this judicious improvement, Bloemart gave to his prints a more clear and finished appearance than all the laboured neatness even of Jerome Wierix had been able to produce. He drew correctly but from his style of engraving, which was executed entirely with the graver, the extremities of his figures are heavy, and his heads are not always equally beautiful or expressive. With respect to the mechanical part of the work, few indeed have excelled him, either in clearness or freedom of execution. His great fault, however, is want of variety. The naked parts of his figures, the ch-aperies, and the back-ground, are equally neat, and engraved precisely in the same manner. Hence the effect is flat and the flesh, for want of sufficient distinction, appears cold and silvery. His works are justly held in high estimation. They are very numerous, and many of them difficult to be procured.1