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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: Pre-18th century: Portrait of a Gentleman

Cornelius Johnson

(born London, England 1593 -- died Holland 1661)

London-born Cornelius Johnson studied in Holland before returning to England in 1618, where he painted courtiers, landed gentry, and prosperous professionals. His work earned him an appointment as "his Majesty's servant in the quality of Picture drawer." Johnson and his wife left for the Netherlands in 1643, fleeing the chaos of England's civil war. In Holland he built his reputation with large group portraits of guild members.