Jan van der HEYDEN
Gorinchem [Gorkum], 5 March 1637–Amsterdam, 28 March 1712
Dutch painter, draughtsman, printmaker and inventor
Jan van der Heyden is said to have trained with a glass painter, perhaps his eldest brother, Goris van der Heyden, who made and sold mirrors. In 1646 Jan van der Heyden moved with his family to Amsterdam. He was only a part-time painter, preferring to spend his time as an inventor, engineer, and city official. He was particularly successful in improving the street-lighting scheme and fire-fighting equipment in Amsterdam, which was a model for other cities. He published his Brandspuitenboek (about ‘Fire engines with hoses’) in 1690. Although he went on painting until he was very old, as some early 18th-century still lifes testify, he seems to have produced very little after c. 1680.
Van der Heyden is best known for his fanciful townscapes, although he also painted landscapes (some on glass) and some still lifes. Most of his pictures of cities strive to capture the essence of place, featuring prominent buildings. Others place largely imaginary modern buildings in historical settings. He painted many views of Amsterdam, which can be related to the municipal pride of the inhabitants of the city, leading the city to take up the street-lighting scheme and fire-fighting equipment. He also painted cities in the Rhineland, and fourteen pictures of the village of Maarssen near Utrecht, probably commissioned by Joan Huydecoper II (1625–1704), a burgomaster of Amsterdam, who improved and sold real estate in that area.
In some of Van der Heyden’s paintings the figures were provided (as here) by Adriaen van de Velde (1636–72) and Johannes Lingelbach (1622–74). In his prints he often worked with others, including his son, Jan van der Heyden the Younger, and the printmaker Jan van Vianen (c. 1660–after 1726). He died a wealthy man, leaving a strong influence on later Dutch townscape painters.
In 1790–91 Desenfans owned a pair of Dutch views by Van der Heyden that were on display in the Saloon of his house in Charlotte Street (Evening Mail inventory, 1790–91, part 1: ‘Vanderhyde – A view in Holland’ and ‘Vanderhyde – A ditto view in Holland’). Shortly afterwards he decided to sell the pair, and they appear in his undated list of ‘Pictures to be Sold’ (early 1790s) and in the 1794 and 1795 sales of his collection.1 Moreover there was in the Drawing Room in Charlotte Street a landscape with ruins (‘Vanderhyde – A Ditto landscape figures and ruins’).2 Van der Heyden was a popular and well known artist around 1800 in London; he was also included in the overview of Dutch and Flemish artists by John Smith (vol. v, of 1834).
Van der Heyden 1690; Wagner 1971; Schwartz 1983; De Vries 1984; Sutton 1987b; De Vries 1996; Sutton 2006; Pijl 2012a; Ecartico: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/3709 (June 6, 2017); RKDartists&, no. 38227: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/38227 (June 6, 2017).
Portrait of Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712), dated 1661
Jan van der Heyden with figures by Adriaen van de Velde
DPG155 – A Garden in a City with two Churches in the Background
c. 1660; oak panel, 28.2 x 33.6 cm
Signed, bottom left: VHeijde (VH as monogram)
?;3 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 24, no. 240 (‘Drawing Room / no. 28, Landscape, figures, view of a convent – P[anel] Vanderhede’; 2' x 2'1").
Cat. 1817, p. 10, no. 167 (‘SECOND ROOM – East Side; A Landscape; Vanderheyden’); Haydon 1817, p. 386, no. 167 (Vanderheyden); Cat. 1820, p. 10, no. 167 (Jan van der Heyden); Cat. 1830, p. 10, no. 196 (Jan van der Heyden); Jameson 1842, ii, p. 474, no. 196;4 Denning 1858 (‘An exquisite little picture’) and 1859, no. 196 (Jan van der Heyden and Adriaen van de Velde); Lejeune, ii, 1864, pp. 560–61 (‘Paysage’ (landscape)); Sparkes 1876, p. 180, no. 196 (figures by Adrian Van de Velde); Richter & Sparkes 1880, pp. 74–5, no. 196;5 Havard & Sparkes 1885, p. 242. no. 196; Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 40, no. 155; HdG, viii, 1923, p. 397, no. 126 (Engl. edn 1927, pp. 368–9); Cook 1914, pp. 92–3, no. 155;6 Cook 1926, pp. 87–8, no. 155; Cat. 1953, p. 22; Wagner 1971, pp. 108 (no. 188), 169 (fig.); Murray 1980a, pp. 66–7 (figures attributed to Adriaen van de Velde); Murray 1980b, p. 15; Beresford 1998, p. 123; Shawe-Taylor 2000, p. 48; Dejardin 2009b, pp. 56–7; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 100–101; Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, p. 36, fig. 45; RKD, no. 284673: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/284673 (June 12, 2017).
London 1999b (no cat. no.; c. 1660/70)
The panel has a very slight convex warp and is bevelled on the reverse, at the top and right edges. There is some tenting of the paint layers, but this is secure. The paint layers are rather abraded across the village, and there is a retouched scratch across the sky. There is some fine craquelure in the dark areas towards the bottom. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–3, restored, Dr Hell; 1995, consolidated, cleaned and restored, N. Ryder.
1) Adriaen van de Velde, Le Départ pour la chasse, signed and dated ‘adriaen vande / velde1662’, black chalk, pen in black, grey and brown ink, grey wash, 242 x 357 mm. Petit Palais, Dutuit Collection, Paris, D-Dut 1023 .7
2) Jan van der Heyden, The Garden of the Old Palace, Brussels, panel, 49.9 x 62.6 cm. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, O., 1972.1.8
3) Jan van der Heyden, View of a Church on a Canal, Amsterdam, signed, panel, 28.5 x 34.3 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Otto Naumann, 1986).9
4a) (in reverse) Adriaen van de Velde, Shepherdess with Basket, signed A.V.V, red chalk, 283 x 200 mm. Private collection, Vorden.
4b) (counterproof of 4a) Adriaen van de Velde, Shepherdess with Basket, 257 x 202 mm. Print Room, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.10
4c. Adriaen van de Velde, Shepherdess with Sheep, red chalk over a sketch in graphite or black chalk, 193 x 299 mm. Amsterdam Museum, Fodor Collection, TA 10345 .11
4d. Adriaen van de Velde, The Barn, signed and dated A.V.Velde f/1671, canvas, 76 x 65 cm. RM, Amsterdam, SK-A-443 .12
Here Van der Heyden had the collaboration of Adriaen van de Velde (for him see DPG51), who painted the figures. DPG155 is a view of an imaginary city, probably based on sketches made in different places, or the product of the artist’s imagination. Wagner has suggested that the left one of the churches resembles Santa Francesca Romana in Rome, between the Forum and the Colosseum. A very similar building appears in the background of a drawing by Adriaen van de Velde, but there it is embellished with a cupola (Related works, no. 1) . As Van der Heyden is not documented as having visited Rome, he must have taken his ideas from prints or via drawings by other artists such as Adriaen van de Velde (who also never saw Rome). The church tower on the right is a combination of Netherlandish Renaissance elements (Related works, no. 2) and an architectural capriccio (Related works, no. 3). The Gothic church on the far right is Northern European, and Van der Heyden had probably seen it himself. The figures painted by Adriaen van de Velde enjoying themselves around the pool seem to be wearing Dutch costumes of a type fashionable in the third quarter of the 17th century. The seated peasant woman with a basket on the left also appears in a famous painting by Adriaen van de Velde, The Barn (Related works, no. 4d) .13 The drawings that have survived show how the artist prepared his compositions and re-used his figure studies (Related works, nos 4a–4c)  as he did again in DPG155.
Jan van der Heyden and Adriaen van de Velde
Garden in a City with two Churches in the Background, c. 1660
panel (oak), oil paint 28,2 x 33,6 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG155
Adriaen van de Velde
Departure for the hunt, dated 1662
paper, black chalk, brush in black, grey and brown, grey wash 242 x 357 mm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais, inv./cat.nr. D-Dut 1023
Adriaen van de Velde
Shepherdess with sheep, before 1671
paper, red chalk, black chalk 193 x 299 mm
Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, inv./cat.nr. TA 10345
Adriaen van de Velde
The Barn, dated 1671
canvas, oil paint 76 x 65 cm
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./cat.nr. SK-A- 443
1 Undated list of ‘Pictures to be Sold’, Saloon: no. 74 (‘Van der Heyde – Buildings & figures; 40 guineas’) and no. 75 (‘ditto Buildings & figures; 40 guineas’); ?Desenfans sale, 16 June 1794 (Lugt 5226), lot 170 (‘Vanderhyde – Landscape, with buildings and figures 1 ft. 6 by 1 ft. 3, on pannel’) and lot 171 (‘Vanderhyde – Ditto [i.e. Landscape] ditto [i.e. with buildings and figures], its companion 1 ft. 6 by 1 ft. 3, on ditto [i.e. panel]’); Desenfans sale, Skinner & Dyke, 24–28 February 1795 (Lugt 5281), lot 90 (‘A pair of high finished views of towns in Holland with figures by Adrian Vd Velde’). Perhaps the pair can be equated with the two landscapes that Desenfans offered on separate days of his 1802 sale of ‘Polish’ pictures at Skinner and Dyke (Lugt 6380):
2 It seems likely that the landscape with ruins recorded in 1790–91 (Evening Mail inventory, pt 2) was also offered in the 1794 and 1795 sales: 1794, lot 138 (‘Vanderhyde – Landscape and figures 2ft. 7 by 2ft. 2, on pannel’); 1795, lot 39 (‘Vander Heyde – A Landscape, View in Holland, – a beautiful high finished Picture’).
3 Peter Murray suggested that DPG155 might be one of the pictures by Van der Heyden offered for sale by Desenfans in 1786 (Desenfans private contract sale, London, 8 April – 16 May 1786 (Lugt 4022), lot 165 (‘Vander Heyde and A. Van de Velde – A very high finished landscape […] on panel, 1' 11" x 2' 3"’ [includes the frame]. £52.10); Desenfans private contract sale, London, 8 June ff. 1786 (Lugt 4059A), lot 217 (description as for previous sale); Desenfans sale, Christie’s, 13–17 July 1786 (Lugt 4071), lot 29 (‘Vanderhyde; A. Vanderveldt – A landscape and figures’. Withdrawn from sale). But these are all called ‘landscape’, and it seems unlikely that DPG155 in the 18th century would have been thus characterized (although Lejeune much later, in 1864, does call Paysage). There is no picture by Van der Heyden in Desenfans’ 1804 Insurance list: either DPG155 was acquired quite late in Desenfans’ and Bourgeois’ careers as collectors, or in 1804 it was not considered important enough to be insured.
4 ‘The painter to whom this picture is attributed had no equal in his peculiar style, as a painter of buildings and perspective views on a small scale, finished with elaborate delicacy, yet surprising breadth of effect.’
5 ‘The great charm of this picture lies chiefly in the unequalled accuracy of its execution, and in the harmonious tone which envelops the whole scene. The figures are painted by Adriaen van de Velde.’
6 ‘The figures are painted with miniature-like fidelity by Adrian van de Velde.’
7 RKD, no. 297547: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297547(April 16, 2020); Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 77–83, no. 12, fig. on p. 79 (B. Cornelis); Lugt 1927, p. 34, no. 78 (fig. XLII). For the painting (also dated 1662) see Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 77–83, no. 11 (B. Cornelis) and HdG, iv, 1911, p. 529, no. 169.
8 Sutton 2006, pp. 190–92, no. 32.
9 Woollett & Naumann 1995, under 1986.
10 Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 141–7, no. 34 (M. Schapelhouman); Schatborn 1981, p. 143, no. 92; Schatborn 1975, p. 159, fig. 2.
11 Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 141–7, fig. 150 (M. Schapelhouman); Schatborn 1975, p. 162, fig. 3.
12 RKD, no. 297548: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/297548 (April 16, 2020); see also http://hdl.handle.net/11259/collection.40084 (June 6, 2017); Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 141–6, no. 33 (M. Schapelhouman); M. Schapelhouman in Broos & Schapelhouman 1993, pp. 187–8, no. 143; Schatborn 1975 and 1981, pp. 116–17.
13 RKD, no. 2656: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/2656 (June 6, 2017); Cornelis & Schapelhouman 2016, pp. 140–47, no. 30 (M. Schapelhouman); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.6354 (April 15, 2020).
14 The Barn, at the time considered to be Van de Velde’s masterpiece, was acquired for the Rijksmuseum in 1822 for ƒ8,290; at the same time Vermeer’s View of Delft was purchased for ƒ2,900, and assigned by the King to the Royal Cabinet of Pictures in the Mauritshuis (as The Hague was nearer to Delft than Amsterdam). The directors of both galleries had said in the letters with their purchase proposals that they preferred Van de Velde’s picture to the Vermeer; Bergvelt 1998, pp. 112–13, 317 (notes 164–73).