The Adoration of the Magi
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Jan de Bray ( Haarlem c.1627 - Haarlem 1697 )
Painter, draughtsman and etcher, Jan de Bray spent virtually the whole of his career in Haarlem, except for the period 1686–8, when he lived in Amsterdam. After training with his father Salomon de Bray (an architect and poet), Jan began working as a portrait painter in Haarlem in 1650, an activity he continued for the next 40 years. Between 1667 and 1684 he served on the committee for the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, whose leading members he portrayed in a picture dated 1675 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) that includes a self-portrait (Jan is seen standing and drawing on the left). He married three times, in 1668, 1670 and 1672. His first two wives died a year after their marriage, his third two years afterwards, and in each case the death was followed by disputes over the inheritance. Jan’s bankruptcy of 1689 may have been a result of one of the lawsuits. He was 62 at the time, and from then onwards he seems to have lost his artistic drive, crushed by the financial blow and the consequent loss of social status.