About the artist
Frederik de Wit was born Frederik Hendriksz. He was born to a Protestant family in about 1629, in Gouda, a small city in the province of Holland, one of the seven united provinces of the Netherlands. His father Hendrik Fredericsz (1608 – 29 July 1668) was a hechtmaecker (knife handle maker) from Amsterdam, and his mother Neeltij Joosten (d. before 1658) was the daughter of a merchant in Gouda. Frederik was married on 29 August 1661, to Maria van der Way (1632–1711), the daughter of a wealthy Catholic merchant in Amsterdam. From about 1648 until his death at the end of July 1706, De Wit lived and worked in Amsterdam. Frederik and Maria had seven children, but only one Franciscus Xaverius (1666–1727) survived them.
By 1648, during the height of the Dutch Golden Age, De Wit had moved from Gouda to Amsterdam. As early as 1654, he had opened a printing office and shop under the name "De Drie Crabben" (the Three Crabs) which was also the name of his house on the Kalverstraat. In 1655, De Wit changed the name of his shop to the "Witte Pascaert" (the White Chart). Under this name De Wit and his firm became internationally known.