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Dirk Stoop Biography

Dirk Stoop was a widely travelled painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Alternative versions of his name include Dirck Stoff, Theodorus (van der) Stoop, Thierry (the French version) and Rod(e)rigo, by which he was known in Portugal.

Stoop was born in Utrecht. His father was the glass painter Willem Jansz. van Stoop and his brother Maerten was also a painter, especially of war scenes. According to Houbraken, his father had also been the first teacher of Abraham Diepraam. Houbraken considered the elder Stoop to be a good horse painter. This younger Stoop was known for Italianate landscapes with hunting parties, views of ports, cavalry scenes, history paintings, still lifes and altar pieces, which were valued highly in his time. He was also an engraver and among his productions during a stay in England in the 1650s were some of the plates for the second, luxury edition of John Ogilby’s Aesop’s Fables in 1665, and a series of prints of “12 horses”.

In 1638 Stoop was a pupil in the Utrecht guild. He then went to live in Italy, probably between 1639 and 1645. During a subsequent visit to England he painted the panoramic Restoration procession of King Charles II (1660).

Dirk then went on to Lisbon and became Court painter to the Princess Catherine of Braganza. Rodrigo, as he was known locally, did many works for the Portuguese court in its entirety, from various portraits to the famed depiction of Ribeira Palace. When Cathrine was betrothed to Charles II, he joined her entourage when she came to England in 1662.

From this time dates the series of eight large plates portraying her progress from Portsmouth to Hampton Court. After a four year stay, he returned to Utrecht but was known to have travelled to Hamburg some time between that date and his death.

He returned to Holland and died in Utrecht in 1686.

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