An Imaginary Architectural Landscape set in Amsterdam (Primary Title)

Jan Van Der Heyden, Dutch, 1637 - 1712 (Artist)

oil on panel
Unframed: 17 5/8 × 21 3/4 in. (44.77 × 55.25 cm)
Framed: 26 7/8 × 30 7/8 in. (68.26 × 78.42 cm)
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

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