Maria Tesselschade Visscher was born in Amsterdam, the youngest daughter of Roemer Visscher, a successful Dutch merchant and writer. The name Tesselschade, by which she preferred to be known, was given to her by her father because he lost a ship near the Dutch island of Texel on the day of her birth. She received an education remarkable for a woman of her time and became an acclaimed poet, although few of her poems were published in her lifetime and only about 30 of them survive. Her home was a center for artists and writers of the Dutch Golden Age, and she and her older sister Anna Visscher became the only two women admitted to the Muiderkring, an intellectual circle that met every summer at Muiderslot Castle. She was described as beautiful, musically talented -- she played several instruments -- and a skilled translator and commentator from Latin, Greek and Italian. She was also skilled at calligraphy, drawing, painting, and etching on glass. In 1623, she married Allard Crombalch, a naval officer, with whom she had three daughters and lived in Alkmaar. Several streets in The Netherlands are named after her in cities such as Eindhoven, Amsterdam, and Leiden.