Copyright and other proprietary rights in material on this site may be held by individuals or entities other than or in addition to VMFA.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of materials displayed on this site will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to these works.
It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
Images that are only presented as thumbnails are protected by copyright and are not available for download. Public domain images downloaded from the VMFA web site should be credited: "Image courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts." Additional caption information is provided with the downloaded image file.
Requests to reproduce and/or republish any materials on this web site should be addressed to the VMFA Office of Rights and Reproductions at: (Address) 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220-4007 USA, (Phone) 804.204.2760 or 804.204.2761, (Fax) 804.340.1548, or (Email) email@example.com.
An Imaginary Architectural Landscape set in Amsterdam (Primary Title)
Paintings of city scenes—sometimes accurate, sometimes invented—were very popular in Holland. This painting by Jan van der Heyden, Amsterdam’s leading painter of cityscapes, shows a fanciful view along the city’s canal. The cupola in the distance belongs to the town hall, but the large palace in the foreground is imaginary. Van der Heyden, who sold his carefully detailed, harmonious pictures for large sums, was also an important inventor. He devised a greatly improved system of streetlights for Amsterdam, which was especially important because the canals had no protective railings, as this painting shows. These oil streetlamps increased the likelihood of fires, but van der Heyden and his brother also invented fire hoses and pumps that could send water to the tops of tall buildings.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
David R. Smith, “Jan ver der Heyden’s urban prose,” Word and Image Vol. 26, No. 1, Jan-March 2010, fig. 4, p. 88.
David R. Smith, “Realism and the Boundaries of Genre in Dutch Art,” Art History Vol. 32, No.1, February 2009, pp. 90-91, pl. 12, p. 93.
Peter C. Sutton, Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712) ex. cat. (Greenwich, CT: Bruce Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2006) pp.48-49, color ill. fig. no. 40, p. 49 [as "Baroque Palace on a Canal"]
Peter C. Sutton, A Guide to Dutch Art in America (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans with the Netherlands-American Amity Trust, Inc., 1986) p. 254, fig. 379.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.
Other Works In This Gallery
This artwork is on display in:
Use the interactive map to explore the museum
Search for art, find what you are looking for in the museum and much more.