Born in Leiden in 1596, Jan Josefsz. van Goyen was the son of a shoemaker. The Leiden historian J. J. Orlers records that he studied successively with five teachers and travelled in France from 1615-16 before returning to Haarlem, where he became a pupil of Esaias van de Velde. He married Annetje Willemsdr. van Raelst at Leiden in 1618 and is recorded there throughout the 1620s. The artist probably moved to The Hague in 1632 and became a citizen of the city two years later. We know that van Goyen became acquainted with the marine painter, Jan Porcellis, by 1629, as he is recorded selling him a house in that year. Sometime in 1634, he was painting at the house of Isaack van Ruisdael, the brother of Salomon. During the “tulipomania” of 1636-7, van Goyen speculated in tulip bulbs and suffered heavy losses. He was named hoofdman of The Hague Guild in 1638 and 1640. In 1649, his two daughters were both married: Maria to the still life painter, Jacques de Claeuw and Margarethe to Jan Steen. In 1651, van Goyen was commissioned to paint a panoramic view of The Hague for the city’s Town Hall for which he received the sum of 650 guilders. He died in The Hague on 27 April 1656 and was buried in the Grote Kerk.
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