Blankof, John Teunisz

, a painter of great abilities, was born at Alkmaar in 1628, and received his earliest instruction from Arent Tierling but afterwards he was successively the disciple of Peter Scheyenburg and Caesar Van Everdingen. When he had spent some years with those masters, he went to Rome, where, during his continuance in that city, he carefully copied the works of the best masters, and was admitted into the society of Flemish painters called Bentvogels, who gave him the name of Jan Maat (which in Dutch signifies mate or companion), and by that name he is most generally known. His subjects were landscapes, with views of rivers or sea-shores, havens or ports, which he executed with a light free pencil; and in the representation of storms and calms (as nature was always his model) he described those subjects with great truth, exactness, and neatness of handling. The pictures of this master which are most commended are the Italian sea-ports, with vessels lying before them. He possessed a lively imagination; nor was his hand less expeditious than his thoughts; and the connoisseurs agreed in opinion, that if he had bestowed more labour on his pictures than he usually did, so as to finish them more highly, he would certainly have destroyed a great deal of their spirit, force, and effect. His most capital performance is a view of the sea-shore, with the waves retiring at ebb tide; which is described by Houbraken as being wonderfully beautiful and natural. He died in 1670.2