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Jan Adam Kruseman was born on February 12, 1804 in Haarlem in a prominent family that would produce several famous artists. He was best known for his portraits, but he also created landscapes and genre scenes. Kruseman received his first drawing lessons in his hometown Haarlem.
At the age of fifteen, he left for Amsterdam and enrolled at the Drawing Academy, where he received his first lessons from his nephew, Cornelis Kruseman. He then studied in Brussels with François-Joseph Navez and Jacques-Louis David, this was from 1822 to 1824.
At the age of twenty-six he became director of the Academy of Fine Arts.Three years later he was commissioned to paint a posthumous portrait of Tsar Alexander the first This was to be a gift for Anna Pavlovna, the wife of Crown Prince Willem. Kruseman was then commissioned to paint official portraits of the royal family.
In 1844 he was made a Knight of the Order of the lion of the Netherlands. He married in 1826 and had seven children, including Jan Theodoor Kruseman, who became a well-known landscape painter.
In 1836, his nephew, the future theologian and poet Petrus Augustus de Génestet, came to live with his family after becoming an orphan.
His portraits are notable for attention to clothing details and their lack of idealization. He had many successful students. including David Bles, Moritz Calisch and Jozef Israëls. He made more than 500 portraits, mainly of nobility and wealthy citizens.After his death, he was largely forgotten, although a street in Rosmalen was named after him in the 1960s.