Thomas van der Wilt

Birth or Baptism date: 
October 29, 1659
Death or Burial date: 
May 19, 1733

Biography of the Wilts (in Dutch) on the Pershil village web.

Selection of Van der Wilt's paintings at Collectie Nederland.

Father of Willem, probably the artist whose drawings accompanied Leeuwenhoek's later letters. Dobell speculates that Thomas, as son of a draper in the village of Pershil across the Maas from Delfshaven, would have had that connection with Leeuwenhoek. On the other hand, Delft had an exceptionally high proportion of competent artists at the time, so it also makes sense that Leeuwenhoek employed a number of them over the course of his fifty years of observations.

Complicating the matter is Leeuwenhoek's interest in keeping some of his methods secret. His illustrator had to see what Leeuwenhoek saw in order to draw it.

Thomas painted the portrait of Pieter Gribius used on this web. He also painted the De anatomische les door Abraham van Bleyswijk (below) from which the portrait of the doctor was cropped.