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Pronk, Cornelis

Dutch painter and draughtsman. Born in Amsterdam, Dec 10, 1691; d Amsterdam, 28 or 29 Sept 1759). He learnt to paint from Jan van Houten and Arnold Boonen.

Pronk started as a copyist of the 17th-century Dutch masters and as a portrait painter. He continued to draw and paint self-portraits throughout his life.

Initially he worked in Alkmaar; later he settled in Amsterdam, where he became a member of the Guild of St Luke and developed into the most important topographical draughtsman of the first half of the 18th century. He toured the country to gather subjects, occasionally crossing the border, as he did in 1729 to make drawings around Cleve and Cologne.

Four of his sketchbooks from this period (1723–32) are in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam. Together with Jan de Beyer and Abraham de Haen the younger (1707–48), he drew subjects for topographical atlases such as Het verheerlykt Nederland ('The glorified Netherlands'; Amsterdam, 1745–74), which were then engraved by Hendrik Spilman. The Atlas of Zeeland (Amsterdam, 1760) also contains Pronk's work, and his individual topographical drawings were engraved by Simon Fokke and others.

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