Artist biography

EGBERT VAN HEEMSKERK III active c. 1700–1744

Singer, and painter of low genre in imitation of his father. This Haarlem family of painters can be traced back to Egbert Van Heemskerk I (1610–80) who imitated the works of Brouwer and Bega, and taught his son Egbert II (1634 or 5 – 1704). The latter is thought to have come to London in the 1670s, and one of his best works is ‘An Election in the Guildhall at Oxford’, signed and dated ‘Oxon. 1687’, now in Oxford Town Hall. His most popular subjects were tavern interiors, Quaker meetings and sick-bed scenes, of which many versions exist. According to Buckeridge (1706) he ‘died in London about two years ago, leaving behind him a son whom he had instructed in his way’. Weyerman (1769) adds that the son had the same name and died in great poverty in 1744. J.T. Smith also says that he was a singer at Sadler's Wells. No documented works by this son exist, but a number of subjects derived from Egbert II, adapted to early eighteenth-century dress and executed in a much coarser manner, can be plausibly attributed to him.

LITERATURE Bainbridge Buckeridge, ‘An Essay towards an English School’, in Roger de Piles, The Art of Painting, 1706, p.383; Jacob Campo Weyerman, De Levens-Beschryvingen der Nederlandsche Konst-Schilders, 1729–69, pp.344–52; J.T. Smith, Nollekens and his Times, 1829, II, p.347; F. Saxl, ‘The Quakers' Meeting’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, VI, 1943, p.214


Published in:
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988