Willem van der Wilt

illustrator toward the end of his career
Death or Burial date: 
January 24, 1727

Biography of the Wilts (nl) on the Pershil village web.

Son of Thomas. According to Boitet's Beschryving, p 791, Willem drew "most all of the plates in the celebrated work of Mr. Leeuwenhoek, through magnifying glasses wonderfully drawn from life."  Boitet mentions his early talent, that he was so "advanced that few were his match".

Willem was 20 in 1711, the year before Leeuwenhoek began writing the 46 letters that he published in Send-Brieven in 1718. After that effort, at age 86, Leeuwenhoek wrote only another dozen letters before his death just before his 91st birthday.

If "the celebrated work" refers to Send-Brieven only and not Leeuwenhoek's life's work, then Boitet's claim makes sense. However, Leeuwenhoek wrote many letters before Wilt was born. Delft had an exceptionally high proportion of competent artists at the time, so it makes sense that Leeuwenhoek employed a number of them over the course of his fifty years of observations.