an Integrated Technical, Visual and Historical Study of 17th and 18th Century Dutch Painting Ensembles
Valuable ensembles which are currently undergoing in-depth investigation. In the coming years case studies of other ensembles will follow.
Allegorical paintings by Theodoor van Thulden Ceiling paintings (1684) in Trompenburg, Graveland. Andries Warmoes’ painted room in the Hofkeshuis, Almelo Ceiling paintings (1672) by Gerard de Lairesse for Andries de Graeff Ceiling paintings (1662) by Nicolaes van Helt Stockade in the Trippenhuis, Amsterdam The “Golden Room” in the Mauritshuis, The Hague Painted wall hangings by Jurriaan Andriessen in the “Beuning room” The Orange Hall in Huis ten Bosch A painted room in the Martenahuis, Franeker The painted wall hangings in Oud-Amelisweerd The painted room in Huis de Dieu in Alkmaar Breestraat 101 in Beverswijk
In the middle of the seventeenth century local painter Theodoor van Thulden (1609-1669) produced at least three paintings for the ‘s-Hertogenbosch town hall (address: Markt 1). Unity and Justice (1646) can be found in the impressive Council Room (Raadzaal), where it is placed in a gilded frame on a chimney mantle dating to 1672. Two other allegorical scenes are in the Burgomaster’s Chamber (Burgemeesterskamer): The right of the four quarters of the Meierij to appeal their cases before the ‘s-Hertogenbosch court (1647) and The request from the cities of Brabant for inclusion in the States General (1650). These pendants are incorporated in a decorous paneling dating to the first half of the eighteenth century. In addition to these two paintings two additional works, located in the Burgomaster’s Chamber, have traditionally been attributed to Theodoor van Thulden: the unsigned and undated Two Lions and Wildman. In both cases, however, this attribution has been disputed.
In addition to their city residences, Amsterdam elites in the seventeenth century also richly decorated their country homes with paintings. The decorations in the country home of Admiral Cornelis Tromp (1629-1691) and his wife Margaretha van Raephorst (1625-1690) are an impressive example of this practice. The building, which consisted of a rectangular main building connected by corridor to an octagonal domed hall, was erected at the location of the former country house De Hoge Dreuvik, which was demolished by the French in 1672.
An impressive painted room dating to the late eighteenth century can be found in the Hofkeshuis in Almelo. The room contains a wall-covering imitation relief painted by the decorative painter Andries Warmoes (signed 1778). The original stucco ceiling and chimney breasts are also still present, as are the original paneling, door, shutters and mantle. The woodwork and stucco are currently entirely overpainted, and the view of the mantle and part of the paneling is obstructed by a modern paneling.
Since 1913 a tripartite ceiling painting by Gerard de Lairesse (1641-1711), one of the most famous painters of the late Dutch Golden Age, crowns the monumental conference room of the The Hague Peace Palace, which was completed the same year. The Carnegie foundation, responsible for the construction and maintenance of the building, acquired the ceiling in a 1903 auction as Triumph of Peace; a title which matched the future destination of the paintings well.
The Trippenhuis, located on the Kloveniersburgwal, forms a unique monument due to its many ceiling paintings. In no other seventeenth-century canal house in Amsterdam have this many interior decorations stood the test of time. The building was erected between 1660-1662 to be the residence of the brothers Louis (1605-1684) and Hendrick Trip (1607-1666). The exterior of this city palace calls to mind the former town hall on the Dam Square, but this is not the only aspect of the building to do so. The interior, like that of the town hall, was richly decorated, and the team responsible included a painter who had also been involved in the decorations for the town hall: Nicolaes van Helt Stockade (1614-1669).
During a recent renovation (2009-2014) of the city palace Mauritshuis in The Hague the early eighteenth-century painting ensemble of its so called “Golden Room” underwent a restoration. This provided an opportune occasion to conduct an in-depth analysis of the paintings and the “Large Room Downstairs” (“De Groote Beneden Sale”), as the room used to be called.
As part of its new install of 2013 the Rijksmuseum exhibits one of the most beautifully preserved Rococo interiors as a period room. This so-called “Beuning room” was commissioned between 1744-1748 by the affluent merchant couple Beuning for their residence on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. Paneling parts, frames and doors are made out of Cuban mahogany, a very exclusive material at the time, and show superb craftsmanship. Similarly the richly ornamented stucco ceiling and the Rouge Royal marble fireplace are of remarkable class.
The Orange Hall (Oranjezaal) in Royal Palace Huis ten Bosch is one of the most impressive and most well-preserved creations of the Golden Age. This illustrious project was commissioned by Amalia van Solms (1602-1675) in commemoration of her late husband, Stadtholder Fredrick Henry (1584-1647).
The Martenahuis in Franeker, located at Voorstraat 35, harbors a painted room that forms an amalgamation of paintings and architectural components dating to different periods. The large, almost square room (7.5 x 7.6 meters) is situated to the front of the bel-etage. Six painted wall hangings featuring Arcadian landscapes, measuring three meters in height each, embellish its three walls. Below these landscapes nine decorative paintings have been installed at a wainscot paneling-height, while an overdoor painting decorates the main entrance.
Country home Oud-Amelisweerd in Bunnik, completed in 1770, was commissioned by Baron Gerard Godard Taets van Amerongen (1729-1804). Various residents, including King Louis Napoleon (1778-1846), have since left their mark on the building; a history that is reflected in the rich and remarkable interior of Oud-Amelisweerd.
In 1744 the affluent Carel de Dieu (1708-1789), together with his wife Birgitta de la Croix (1711-1771), commissioned the construction of a new residence on the Langestraat in Alkmaar. Money nor efforts were spared. In addition to local artisans, the most skilled professionals from Amsterdam and beyond were recruited to work on both the exterior and the interior.
Behind the unassuming eighteenth-century façade of the building located at Breestraat 101 in Beverwijk, a remarkable painted room has been preserved. The stately residence originated in the middle of the eighteenth century as the result of the joining of two seventeenth-century parcels. It is likely that the second owner of the residence, Lourens Stelt (1736-1784), had the front room (voorkamer) decorated with painted wall hangings, a marble fireplace and a figurative stucco ceiling. Stelt inherited the house from his father, Pieter Lourisz Stelt (1690-1777) and inhabited the house together with his wife and their son Pieter Stelt (1766-1823), who would later become burgomaster of Beverwijk.