Wallerant Vaillant

Wallerant Vaillant (30 May 1623 – 28 August 1677) was a painter of the Dutch Golden Age and one of the first artists to use the mezzotint technique, which he probably helped to develop.


Wallerant Vaillant was born in Lille, the oldest of five brothers who all became successful painters.

  • Jacques (1625–1691) traveled to Italy where he joined the Bentvueghels in Rome with the nickname Leeuwrik, and settled later in Berlin.
  • Jan (1627–1668+) was an engraver considered to be a member of the school of Frankenthal[1] and later became a merchant in Frankfurt.
  • Bernard (1632–1698) accompanied Wallerant on all of his travels, and settled later in Rotterdam, where he became deacon of the Wallonian Church.
  • Andreas (1655–1693), the youngest, became an engraver in Paris, and died in Berlin visiting his brother Jacques.

It is said Wallerant was a student of Erasmus Quellinus II (1607–1678) in Antwerp. He moved with his parents in 1643 to Amsterdam. In 1647 he lived in Middelburg, but in 1649 he was back in Amsterdam. In 1658 he traveled with his brother to Frankfurt and Heidelberg. He helped invent the Mezzotint technique (schraapkunst, or zwartekunst) with Prince Rupert of the Rhine when he was his tutor performing experiments in etching techniques.

In 1659 he went to Paris with Philibert de Gramont where he stayed five years. In 1664 he settled in Amsterdam and became the court painter of John William Friso, Prince of Orange. He died in Amsterdam.

Vaillant is most remembered today for his mezzotints, rather than his paintings.[2]


  1. Jean Vaillant in the RKD
  2. Wallerant Vaillant at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, retrieved 1-sep-09


Further reading

  • Liedtke , Walter A. (1984). Flemish paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0870993569. (see index, v.1; fig. 13, v.1).

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