Janssens, Cornelius

, called also Johnson, a portrait-painter of very extraordinary merit, was born at Amsterdam; when, is not exactly ascertained. It appears that he painted in England as early as the year 1618, in the reign of James I. Here he continued with very great and deserved success till the arrival of Vandyke, whose transcendent talents and taste Janssens was not quite equal to cope with. On the breaking out of the civil war he returned to his own country in 1648; leaving behind him a number of excellent characteristic portraits in the great families of this island. He retired first to Middleburg, and afterwards to Amsterdam, where he died in 1665. His style of design was formal and void of taste, but his features are justly marked, and the faces of his portraits have great character, and an air of nature, possessing much sweetness of tone in the colouring, and finished very highly; too much so, indeed. His pictures are generally on wood, and with black draperies an arrangement adopted frequently by Rubens and Vandyke. 2


Pilkington. Walpole’s Anecdotes.