Van Voerst, Robert (DNB00)

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VAN VOERST, ROBERT (1596–1636), engraver, was born in 1596 at Arnheim in Holland, and studied at Utrecht under Crispin de Passe the elder. Some small plates of animals by him, which appeared in Passe's ‘La Lumière de la Peinture,’ 1643, were probably executed at this period. He came to England in 1628, and during the next few years engraved portraits of the queen of Bohemia, the Prince of Wales, Prince Rupert, and several English noblemen, from pictures by Honthorst, Dobson, Geldorp, Miereveldt, Mytens, and Janssen. Later he was employed by Vandyck, for whose ‘Centum Icones’ he executed the portraits of Christian, duke of Brunswick, Ernest, count Mansfeldt, Philip, earl of Pembroke, Sir Kenelm Digby, Simon Vouet, Inigo Jones, and himself. Van Voerst's masterpiece is the plate of Charles I and Henrietta Maria holding a laurel wreath, from the picture by Vandyck. He held the appointment of engraver to Charles I; and Vanderdort, in his catalogue of the royal collection, mentions a drawing of the Holy Family by him which he had presented to the king. Van Voerst died of the plague in London in 1636. His prints number only about thirty, but they are of very fine quality, rivalling in brilliancy those of his compatriot, Vorsterman. His portrait of himself has been copied by T. Chambars and B. P. Gibbon for the 1763 and 1849 editions of Walpole's 'Anecdotes.'

[Kramm's Hollandsche en Vlaamsche Kunstschilders; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting; Strutt's Dict. of Engravers; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

F. M. O'D.