Exceptional finely carved boxwood miniature of a human skull by Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck

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C. 1650
4 x 3.5 x 5.3 cm

D. Franken, ‘Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck’, Oud-Holland, V, (1887), pp.72-92.
W. Halsema-Kubes, ‘Kleinplastiek van Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck’, Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, XXXIX, 4, (1991), pp.414-425.
M. Eisma, In beeld gebracht. Beeldhouwkunst uit de collectie van het Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Zwolle, 1995, pp.209-210, nr.139, afb.XI.
M. Eisma, 'Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck, ontwerper en beeldsnijder', Maandblad Amstelodamum 83 (1996), pp. 33-43
M.J. Bok, 'De Utrechtse verwanten van de beeldsnijder Albert Janszn Vinckenbrinck', Maandblad Amstelodamum 83 (1996), pp. 167-172
J.A.C. Dudok van Heel, 'De werkplaatsen van de beeldsnijder Albert Janszn Vinckenbrinck', Maandblad Amstelodamum 83 (1996), pp. 173-177


Possibly the inventory of Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck, Amsterdam, 1665

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Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck (Amsterdam 1605 - 1664)

Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck (1605-1664) is the most important Dutch carver of sculptures of the seventeenth century. Apart from his monumental works such as the pulpit in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, he also manufactured small sculptural works, predominantly in palmwood. Knowledge about his life and activities have been collected in the last 130 years. 

When Daniël Franken wrote a still relevant article about Vinckenbrinck in the fifth volume of the magazine Oud Holland in 1887, he only knew one work: the pulpit in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Nonetheless, his article formed the basis of further attributions to this sculptor.  

In his article Franken published the inventory that was drawn up in 1665 upon Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck’s death. From this inventory and the 18th-century auction catalogues  enclosing descriptions of the work by Vinckenbrinck may be concluded that he mostly made small sculptures. In the course of 130 years many of these sculptures have surfaced. Several of those are signed with the .AL.VB. monogram  with  a joined A and L as well as a joined V and B. Willy Halsema Kubes published a list of 14 small sculptures made by Vinckenbrinck in the Bulletin of the Rijksmuseum in 1991. With the exception of one sculpture, these are all signed with the monogram ALVB.

Subsequently more research on the life, apprenticeship and the place of birth of Vinckenbrinck has been published in the monthly magazine Amstelodamum. Because of the fact that the exact years of his life have been unknown for a long time, his date and place of birth are still unclear. The most recent publication on Vinckenbrinck is rarely consulted and much information from old lexicons is repeated. Therefore, the fact that Vinckenbrinck was baptized on 3 April 1605 in the Nieuwe Kerk is hardly published. At the time his father lived on the Zeedijk and was a coffin maker by profession. 

Albert Jansz. married Geertruit Diercks from Utrecht in 1626. From the fact that he married a woman from Utrecht may be deduced that he spent his apprenticeship, or parts of it, in that city. However, in his research on the various workshops of Vinckenbrinck, Bas Dudok van Heel concluded that Vinckenbrinck probably shared a workshop with his father, before becoming a near neighbor of the Amsterdam mayor Joan Huydecoper. Dudok van Heel aptly concluded that Vinckenbrinck probably made doors, door-frames and other architectural elements and that he created the small sculptures for his own pleasure, mostly because most of those small sculptures were in his own possession upon his death.


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