Joannes Meyssens

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Joannes Meyssens
Jan Meyssens by his son Cornelis.jpg
Joannes Meyssens, engraving by his son Cornelis after a self-portrait.
Born Joannes
(1612-05-17)17 May 1612
Died 18 September 1670(1670-09-18) (aged 58)
Nationality Flemish
Known for Painting, Engraving, Printing
Movement Baroque

Joannes, Jan Meyssens or Jean Meyssens (17 May 1612 – 18 September 1670), was a Flemish Baroque painter, engraver, and printer.


He was born in Brussels, but moved to Antwerp at an early age, where he became master of the Guild of St. Luke in 1640. He married Anna Jacobs (died 1678).[1] Joannes Meyssens' son Cornelis became also an engraver.[2]


He had a successful business collaborating with contemporary painters and engravers, and is most notable today for his book of prints called Image de divers hommes d'esprit sublime qui par leur art et science devront vivre eternellement et des quels la lovange et renommée faict estonner le monde, A Anvers mis en lumiere par Iean Meyssens peinctre et vendeur de lart au Cammestraet l'an .M.DC.XLIX, published in 1649.[3] This book, with the engraved portraits of many famous men, including many painters, was used again and again as a source for art historians, most notably in Cornelis de Bie's, Het Gulden Cabinet (Antwerp, 1662), who wrote this work at the instigation of Meyssens. In 1694 an English version was published in London with the title The True Effigies Of the most Eminent Painters, and other famous artists that have flourished in Europe.

The descriptions in French that Meyssens added under each engraving were used as biographical notes by later art historians such as Filippo Baldinucci, Joachim von Sandrart and Arnold Houbraken.

He influenced Theodoor van Merlen.[1]


  1. ^ a b Joannes Meyssens at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
  2. ^ Cornelis Meyssens at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
  3. ^ Record for this book in the Fitzwilliam Museum

Further reading[edit]