Definitions

Jan

Jan

[jan; for 1 also Du., Ger. yahn]
De Witt, Jan: see Witt, Jan de.
Fyt, Jan, 1611-61, Flemish animal and still-life painter and etcher. A pupil of Frans Snyders, Fyt spent 10 years in France and Italy. Returning to Antwerp in 1641, he enjoyed considerable success. He is admired for his realistic textural and lighting effects. The Metropolitan Museum has four of his studies of spoils of the hunt.
Van der Meer, Jan or Johannes, Dutch painter of Delft: see Vermeer, Jan.
Peerce, Jan, 1904-85, American tenor, b. New York City as Jacob Pincus Perelmuth. Discovered by Arturo Toscanini, who chose him to be a soloist in a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Peerce made his operatic debut in Philadelphia in 1938, singing the Duke in Verdi's Rigoletto. In 1941 he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata. He soon became a leading tenor there in the French and Italian repertoire.
Beuckelszoon, Beuckelzoon, or Beukels, Jan: see John of Leiden.
Neruda, Jan, 1834-91, Czech essayist and poet, b. Prague. His popular Stories from Malá Strana (1878), tales drawn from his childhood in Prague and satiric portraits of members of the Czech middle classes, exemplifies early Czech realism. Neruda's poetry in its simplicity and lyricism has been compared to the work of Heinrich Heine. His best-known poems are contained in Ballads and Romances and Plain Themes (both: 1883). His mature verse expresses his resignation to unhappiness.
Bockelszoon or Bockelson, Jan: see John of Leiden.
Tinbergen, Jan, 1903-94, Dutch economist, co-winner with Ragnar Frisch of the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1969). A graduate of Leiden Univ. (1929), he worked (1929-45) with the Dutch government's Central Bureau of Statistics, and was briefly an adviser to the League of Nations (1936-38). He also served (1945-55) as director of the Dutch central planning bureau. He was a professor (1933-73) at the Netherlands School of Economics in Rotterdam. His publications include Economic Policy: Principles and Design (1956), Shaping the World Economy (1963), and Development Planning (1967).
Vermeer, Jan or Johannes, 1632-75, Dutch genre and landscape painter. He was born in Delft, where he spent his entire life. He was also known as Vermeer of Delft and as Jan or Johannes van der Meer. Carel Fabritius is presumed to have influenced him greatly. In 1653 he was admitted to the painters' guild, of which he was twice made dean. He enjoyed only slight recognition during his short life, and his work was forgotten or confused with that of others during the following century. Today he is ranked among the greatest Dutch masters and considered one of the foremost of all colorists. His most frequent subjects were intimate interiors, often with the solitary figure of a woman. Although his paintings are modest in theme, they exhibit a profound serenity and a splendor of execution that are unsurpassed. No painter has depicted more exquisitely luminous blues and yellows, pearly highlights, and the subtle gradations of reflected light, all perfectly integrated within strictly ordered compositions.

Vermeer apparently produced only one or two pictures a year during his period of greatest activity. His career is a mystery to art historians because, although his work was of the finest quality, his output was too small to have been the sole support of his family of 11 children. Only about 35 paintings can be attributed to him with any certainty. Among them are The Milkmaid and The Letter (Rijks Mus.); The Procuress (Dresden); The Art of Painting (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna); View of Delft (The Hague); Soldier and Laughing Girl (Frick Coll., New York City); Girl Asleep and Young Woman with a Water Jug (Metropolitan Mus.); Woman Weighing Gold and Young Girl with a Flute (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.); and The Concert (Gardner Mus., Boston). Forgeries of Vermeer's work have been frequent, Hans van Meegeren's being the most successful (see forgery, in art).

See biographies by F. W. Thienen (1949), A. Vries et al. (1988), and A. Bailey (2001); studies by P. L. Hale (repr. 1937), P. Descargues (tr. 1966), L. Goldschieder (rev. ed. 1967), L. Gowing (new ed. 1970), M. Pops (1984), J. M. Montias (1989), and A. K. Wheelock, Jr. (1995); catalog of exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., ed. by A. K. Wheelock, Jr. (1996). See also P. B. Coreman's study of Van Meegeren's forgeries (tr. 1949).

De Mabuse, Jan: see Mabuse, Jan de.
Masaryk, Jan, 1886-1948, Czechoslovak diplomat, son of Thomas G. Masaryk. He was (1925-38) Czechoslovak minister to Great Britain, and in London he became (1940) foreign minister in the Czechoslovak government in exile headed by Eduard Beneš after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. During World War II, Masaryk supported a policy of cooperation with the Soviet Union as well as with the Western powers. He continued to hold his post after his government returned (1945) to Prague, and he remained in office after the Communist coup of Feb., 1948. A few days later it was officially announced that he had committed suicide by throwing himself from a window. The announcement aroused world consternation. No real evidence was ever adduced to prove whether his death was or was not voluntary.

See C. Sterling, The Masaryk Case (1982).

Wynants or Wijnants, Jan, c.1625-84, Dutch landscape painter. A follower of Ruisdael, he worked chiefly in Haarlem. The little figures in his paintings are the work of others, often of his pupil Adriaen van de Velde. He is represented in many European galleries.
Ingenhousz, Jan, 1730-99, Dutch scientist. He practiced medicine in Holland, England, and Vienna and was noted for his skillful inoculations against smallpox. He demonstrated respiration in plants and recorded his observations in Experiments upon Vegetables (1779).
Wijnants, Jan: see Wynants, Jan.
Štursa, Jan, 1880-1925, Czech sculptor. His early work shows the influence of Rodin. Among his works are The Melancholy Girl, Primavera, Eve, and a monument to Hana Kvapilova, a Czech actress.
Gossaert or Gossart, Jan: see Mabuse, Jan de.
Steen, Jan, 1626-79, Dutch genre painter, b. Leiden. He studied in Utrecht and in Haarlem under Van Ostade and Van Goyen, whose daughter he married. His huge production of paintings, numbering nearly 900, reveal the influence of most of the major Dutch masters except Rembrandt, but retain a distinct and individual style. His painting offers a composite picture of the social life of his day, often tending toward the humorous or moralistic. His favorite themes were scenes of revelry and feasting. He was a superb draftsman and portraitist, and, despite his love of the incidental, he handled his large groups of figures effectively and spontaneously. Among his many notable works are The Feast of St. Nicolas and The Prince's Birthday (Rijks Mus.); The Menagerie and The Painter's Family (The Hague); and Skittle Players (National Gall., London). The Metropolitan and Brooklyn museums and the Art Institute of Chicago have examples of his work.
Swammerdam, Jan, 1637-80, Dutch naturalist. He was a pioneer in the use of the microscope. Before he turned to religious contemplation his chief interest was the study of invertebrates. He investigated the life histories of frogs and of numerous insects, which he classified on the basis of their metamorphic development. He also made valuable observations on human anatomy and was probably the first to detect red blood cells (1658). A composite collection of his descriptions and of his accurate and exquisitely executed drawings was published posthumously (2 vol., 1737-38) and appeared in English as The Book of Nature (1758). He was an early and influential proponent of the theory of evolution, in opposition to the current belief in spontaneous generation.
Zamojski or Zamoyski, Jan, 1542-1605, Polish statesman, general, and author. He championed the rights of the lesser nobility; after the extinction (1572) of the Jagiello dynasty, he used his influence to restrict the royal power with constitutional limitations, thus transforming Poland into a royal republic. A humanist, he supported art and learning and founded both the city and the university of Zamość. His De senatu Romano (1563) showed great admiration of ancient Rome, and he sought to apply constitutional principles of republican Rome to the Poland of his time. As a result of his reforms, Poland avoided the trend toward absolutism that characterized the other states of Europe. Always opposing the candidacy and influence of the Hapsburgs, Zamojski secured the election (1573) of Henry of Valois (later Henry III of France) as king of Poland; in 1575 he supported Stephen Bathory, whose chancellor he became in 1576; in 1587 he succeeded in putting Sigismund III on the throne. Appointed (1580) commander in chief, he distinguished himself against Russia, Sweden, the Crimean Tatars, and the hospodar [governor] of Moldavia. During his last years his relations with Sigismund III were strained because of the king's pro-Hapsburg policy.
Kasprowicz, Jan, 1860-1926, Polish poet. His writings progressed from social revolt (e.g., From a Peasant's Field, 1891) to poems of spiritual struggle and philosophical intensity. Among his later works are To a Dying World (1902), Ballad of the Sunflower (1908), and The Book of the Poor (1916). Highly regarded by his contemporaries, Kasprowicz was also renowned for his translations of English, French, German, and Italian classics.
Kochanowski, Jan, 1530-84, esteemed as the greatest poet of the Polish Renaissance. Kochanowski assimilated the poetic traditions of Italy and France and created new rhythmic patterns, expressive phrases, and syntactic structures that were integrated into the Polish literary language. His philosophical, erotic, and patriotic lyrics lifted Polish literature out of its provincialism and brought it into the mainstream of the European Renaissance. His works include Trifles (1584), short poems on many subjects; Laments (1580), elegies upon the death of his daughter; an epic, The Standard; and a tragedy, The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys (1578). Of special note is his Polish version of the Psalms. Much of his work is available in English translation.
Kollár, Jan, 1793-1852, Slovak poet who wrote in Czech. A Protestant minister, he was an ardent proponent of Pan-Slavism. He promoted his ideas in a famous essay on Slavonic cultural unity (1836) and in his best-known poem, The Daughter of Slava (1821-24).
Kubelík, Jan, 1880-1940, Czech violinist. Kubelík studied with Otakar Ševčik at the Prague Conservatory. He made his debut in Vienna in 1898 and was thereafter internationally acclaimed for his great virtuosity and dramatic power. He first appeared in the United States in 1901. His son, Rafael Kubelík, 1914-96, b. Býchory (now in the Czech Republic), was conductor of the Chicago Symphony (1950-53) and later director of the Covent Garden Opera in London; he also composed the opera Veronika (1947), as well as symphonic and instrumental works.
Jan or JAN may refer to:

Given names:

  • A variant of John especially in Dutch, Northern Germanic and Western Slavic Languages (in Slovak, spelled Ján).
  • In English, shortened form of Janice or Janet

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Acronyms:

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