Abraham Blooteling (Amsterdam 1640–Amsterdam 1690) was a technically brilliant engraver and one of the most significant early mezzotint printmakers. He was apprenticed to the engraver Cornelis van Dalen the Elder (c.1602–1665) and received further training from Pieter van Schuppen (1629–1702) in Paris between 1660 and 1662. After his return to Amsterdam he cooperated with Van Dalen again, who named Blooteling his universal heir.
The talented artist Wallerant Vaillant (1623–1677) moved to Amsterdam in 1665 where he practiced the printmaking technique of mezzotint. Vaillant had encountered Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619–1682) in Frankfurt in 1658 and through him became involved in the development of the new mezzotint process. Blooteling likely first met Vaillant when both were living in Paris in the early 1660s. In Amsterdam, Blooteling made prints after portraits drawn by Vaillant and produced his first dated mezzotint The Flute Player (H. 273) after Govert Flinck in 1667. Blooteling further refined the mezzotint technique and his prints show a larger tonal scale and finer details compared to the earliest mezzotints.
Compiler: Ad Stijnman
Editor: Simon Turner
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