A soldier on guard freeing his right hand, from the Marksmen series, plate 37, in Wapenhandelinghe van Roers Musquetten Ende Spiessen (The Exercise of Arms)
Born in Antwerp, Jacob de Gheyn I was glass painter, engraver, and draftsman. In 1585, he moved to Haarlem, where he studied under Hendrik Goltzius. He moved again, to Leiden, in the middle of the 1590s. His work attracted the attention of wealthy sponsors, and his first commission was for an engraving of the Siege of Geertruidenberg from Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. De Gheyn painted some of the earliest female nudes, vanitas, and floral still lifes in Dutch art. He is credited with creating over 1,500 drawings, including landscapes and natural history illustrations. He produced 117 engravings for the military manual The Exercise of Armes while living in Amsterdam.