Jan Van Rymsdyk

Jan van Rymsdyk (also Rijmsdijck, Riemsdyk, Remsdyke) (ca. 1730 - ca. 1790) was a Dutch painter and engraver.

Rymsdyk was active The Hague in the late 1740s but was in London by 1750. In 1758 he moved away to Bristol and practised as a portrait-painter; in 1764 he returned to London.

In 1767 Rymsdyk executed a mezzotint engraving of Frederick Henry and Emilia Van Solms, Prince and Princess of Orange, from a painting by Jacob Jordaens at Devonshire House. His skill brought him work with William Hunter, and he executed some of the engravings for Hunter's Anatomia Humani Gravidi Uteri (1774). In 1778, with his son Andrew, he published a series of plates from antiquities and curiosities in the British Museum... (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Rymsdyk)

"...very little is known about him. Some historians can guess which artists he trained under based on his style and they think he was born somewhere in Holland between 1700 and 1730. He lived and worked in England between 1745 and 1780, but no one knows what he did before and after that period.

What is left after him is his medical illustration work for some of the most notable obstetricians of the time, including William Hunter and William Smellie, a book with drawings of curious items in the British Museum he published himself, and a handful of portraits.

For the British Museum book, simply titled Museum Britannicum, Rymsdyk (or Riemsdyk as it is also spelled) included several personal footnotes and commentaries that tell us something of what his life must have been like.

....Whatever he felt, Jan van Rymsdyk will always stand as one of the greatest medical illustrators of all time. And although he drew and painted, in a way it feels like he was the first medical photographer, documenting the specific rather than the general. He certainly didn’t sacrifice his talents, but put them to use for a greater good – the advancement of medicine.(https://sterileeye.com/2010/03/19/jan-van-rymsdyk-drawer-of-wombs/)
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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