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Herman Saftleven the Younger was born in Rotterdam and lived in Utrecht, where he painted most of his life. His brothers also remained active in painting, including Cornelis Saftleven (1607-1681) who was better known for genre scenes. Herman's wife, Sara, married Jacob Adriaensz Broers in 1671 and became a watercolor painter.

Saftleven's work was also influenced by the works of his friends. He had good connections in Utrecht and was listed as a master of the Guild of St. Luke. He had travelled to Germany and Basel and had his work displayed at the Royal Palace. He even visited Elberfeld in 1667, making sketches of the surrounding landscape. His paintings are a testament to his life, and he was a vital part of the city's decline.

Saftleven painted over three hundred works in his career. Some of his earliest works are etched, and are still in use today. Herman II also painted in a series of 22 views of the churches of Utrecht. Another artist, Herman Doomer, visited Boppard in 1663 and produced two drawings of the town, as well. His drawings are in the style of Jan Both.

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