Joachim von Sandrart:
(12 May 1606 - 14 October 1688) was a German Baroque art-historian and painter, active in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age.
Sandrart was born in Frankfurt, but the family originated from Mons. According to Houbraken (who used his Teutsche Akademie as a primary source), he learned to read and write from the son of Theodor de Bry, Johann Theodoor de Brie and his associate Matthäus Merian, but at age 15 was so eager to learn more of the art of engraving, that he walked from Frankfurt to Prague to become a pupil of Gillis Sadelaar (also known as Aegidius Sadeler of the Sadeler family). Sadelaar in turn urged him to paint, whereupon he travelled to Utrecht in 1625 to become a pupil of Gerrit van Honthorst, and through him he met Rubens when he brought a visit to Honthorst in 1627, to recruit him for collaboration on part of his Marie de' Medici cycle. Honthorst took Sandrart along with him when he travelled to London. There he worked with Honthorst and spent time making copies of Holbein portraits for the portrait gallery of Henry Howard, 22nd Earl of Arundel.
Making all of those copies only served to arouse more curiosity in the young adventurer, and in 1627 Sandrart booked a passage on a ship from London to Venice, where he was welcomed by Jan Lis (whose Bentvueghels bent name was "Pan"), and Nicolaas Ringnerus. He then set out for Bologna, where he was met by his cousin on his father's side Michael le Blond, a celebrated engraver. With him, he crossed the mountains to Florence, and from there on to Rome, where they met Pieter van Laer (whose bent name was "Bamboccio"). Sandrart became famous as a portrait-painter. After a few years he undertook a tour of Italy, traveling to Naples, where he drew studies of Mount Vesuvius, believed to be the entrance to the Elysian fields described by Virgil. From there he traveled to Malta and beyond, searching for literary sights to see and paint, and wherever he went he paid his way by selling portraits. Only when he was done traveling did he finally return to Frankfurt, where he married Johanna de Milkau.
Afraid of political unrest and plague, he moved to Amsterdam with his wife in 1637.