The Amsterdam Civic Guard Pieces Within and Outside the New Rijksmuseum, Part III: Bartholomeus van der Helst

Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Company of Captain Cornelis Witsen and Lieutenan,  1648, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This third installment of D. C. Meijer Jr.’s article on Amsterdam civic guard portraits focuses on works by Bartholomeus van der Helst (Oud Holland 4 [1886]: 225–40). Meijer’s article was originally published in five installments in the first few issues of the journal Oud Holland. For translations (also by Tom van der Molen) of the first two installments, see JHNA 5, no. 1 (Winter 2013).

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2014.6.1.4
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Company of Captain Cornelis Witsen and Lieutenan,  1648,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 1 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Company of Captain Cornelis Witsen and Lieutenant Johan Oetgens van Waveren Celebrating the Treaty of Münster (The Civic Guards Meal), 1648. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-2 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7328). [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Company of Captain Roelof Bicker and Lieutenant J, 1639,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 2 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Company of Captain Roelof Bicker and Lieutenant Jan Michielsz Blaeuw, 1639. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-375 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7327). [comparison viewer]
Govert Flinck,  Portrait of Gerard Pietersz Hulft (1621–1656, 1654,  Rijksmuseum, Museum
Fig. 3 Govert Flinck, Portrait of Gerard Pietersz Hulft (1621–1656), 1654.Rijksmuseum Museum, inv. no. SK-A-3101. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Drinking Horn of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (H, 1566,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 4 Anonymous, Drinking Horn of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards,1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13966. [comparison viewer]
Leendert Claes,  Glass Screw,  ca. 1606–9,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 5 Leendert Claes, Glass Screw, ca. 1606–9. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13969. [comparison viewer]
Govert Flinck,  The Governors of the Harquebusier Civic Guards, 1642,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 6 Govert Flinck, The Governors of the Harquebusier Civic Guards, 1642. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-370 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7316). [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  The Governors of the Longbow (Handboog) Civic Gu, 1653,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 7 Bartholomeus van der Helst, The Governors of the Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, 1653. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7329. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Staff of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog),  ca. 1510–30,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 8 Anonymous, Staff of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, ca. 1510–30. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13960. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Chain of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog),  ca. 1510–30,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 9 Anonymous, Chain of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, ca. 1510–30. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13961. [comparison viewer]
Johannes Spilberg,  The Company of Captain Jan van de Poll and Lieut,  1650,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 10 Johannes Spilberg, The Company of Captain Jan van de Poll and Lieutenant Gijsbert van de Poll, 1650. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7406. [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  The Governors of the Harquebusiers [Kloveniers] , 1655,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 11 Bartholomeus van der Helst, The Governors of the Harquebusiers [Kloveniers] Civic Guards, 1655. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 2101. [comparison viewer]
 Bartholomeusvan der Helst,  The Four Governors of the Crossbow (Voetboog), 1656,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 12 Bartholomeusvan der Helst, The Four Governors of the Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1656. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7330. [comparison viewer]
Frederik Jans,  Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voe,  1547,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 13 Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1547. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13964. [comparison viewer]
Frederik Jans,  Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voe,  1566,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 14 Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13965. [comparison viewer]
Lodewijk van der Helst,  Portrait of Michiel Servaesz. Nouts, 1670,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 15 Lodewijk van der Helst, Portrait of Michiel Servaesz. Nouts, 1670. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 2998. [comparison viewer]
  1. 1. For the most recent information on Van der Helst’s life and work, see Judith van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk (Zwolle: Waanders, 2011).

  2. 2. [Meijer’s note: Voor-reden tot de Afbeeldinghe van “de Maeltijt” shown with living actors in the Paleis voor Volksvlijt, at the opening of the new (Rijks)museum July 13, 1885.] J. A. Alberdingk Thijm, Voor-reden tot de afbeeldinghe van de maeltijt gehouden door een corporaelschap van het blauwe vendel van het Amsterdamsche Schuttersgild en aen-gherecht op de boven-zaele van St. Joris Doelen, ter viering van de eeuwige vrede, ghelijck die gheschildert is door Barth. vander Helst (Amsterdam, 1885).

  3. 3. [Meijer’s note: Born 1618, married 1636, widowed 1670, deceased 1679. The correct details of the life of Van der Helst were first published in the catalogue of the museum Kunstliefde in Utrecht by Mr. A. D de Vries Az. and A. Bredius.] See Abraham Bredius, Adrianus Daniël de Vries, and Samuel Muller, Catalogus der schilderijen in het Museum Kunstliefde te Utrecht (Utrecht, 1885).

  4. 4. The year 1878 must be a typo. The Historical Exhibition in Amsterdam was held in 1876.

  5. 5. Beschrijving der schilderijen van het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam, met historische aanteekeningen en facsimile’s der naamteekens (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1880).

  6. 6. Op d’afbeelding van Mejuffer Konstancy Reinst, Door vander Helst geschildert: aan den zelfde

    Op Duitsch Apelles, op, verschijn met puik van verve’:

    Want Reinst verwacht u om te leeven op ‘t panneel.

    Een geestig ommetrek vereist een wis penseel.

    Natuur vertoont in haar vrou Venus en Minerve.

    Zoo ziet men glans en geest, dat zelde beurt, gepaart.

    Hoe! is dit leeven? neen: want Reinst, heel braaf van aart,

    Vertoont zich hier van verf. ô loffelijk vermoogen!

    Wie ‘t oog door verf bedriegt heeft eerelijk bedroogen.

    On the portrait of Miss Konstancy Reinst, painted by Van der Helst: to the same

    Come on German Apelles, come on, appear with your best paint:

    Because Reinst expects you to live on the panel,

    A witty outline demands a sure brush

    Nature shows itself in her woman Venus and Minerva.

    Thus one sees luster and spirit, which happens rarely, together

    How! Is this alive? No, because Reinst, very brave by nature

    Shows herself here in paint; oh [that] laudable ability

    That which deceives the eye with paint, has deceived honestly]

     

  7. 7. [Meijer’s note: Aemstel’s Oudheid, I, 161.] Pieter Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven en de werken van den kunstschilder Bartholomeus van der Helst,” Aemstel’s Oudheid 1 (1855): 161–87; the part about Catharina Reinst is on pp. 166–67.

  8. 8. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,” 165–66.The innkeeper of the Longbow Civic Guard Hall, Jacob van der Helst, was not related to Bartholomeus van der Helst.

  9. 9. [Meijer’s note: The year is presently hidden under the frame. It is mentioned as 1639 by Van Dyk, Beschrijving der schilderijen op ’t Stadhuis and by Scheltema in his catalogue.] Jan van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige beschryving en aanmerkingen over alle de schilderyen op het Stadhuis te Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Yver, 1758), 23; Pieter Scheltema, Historische beschrijving der schilderijen van het stadhuis te Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Stadsdrukkerij, 1879), 37. Scheltema gives 1643, the date on the separate nameplate that used to be kept with the painting. The list by Schaep also notes 1643, which was printed erroneously as 1634 in Pieter Scheltema, “De schilderen in de drie doelen te Amsterdam, beschreven door G. Schaep, 1653,” Aemstel’s Oudheid 7 (1885): 136.

  10. 10. As we now know, since Van der Helst was born in 1613, he was in fact twenty-six.

  11. 11. [Meijer’s note: At the time of his marriage in 1636 Van der Helst lived on the “Oostermarkt”(=Nieuwmarkt). The proof that he lived there also in or just before 1648 was found by Mr. Bredius in an amusing document of that year, in the papers of the notary P. Velsen. Cornelia Willems, maid of Van der Elst, painter on the Nieuwmarkt, declared in it that Annetje van der Elst, the housewife, had wanted to evict her at night amidst much altercation. She had thrown a mixing jug at her head and the manservant of Van der Elst had taken her by the arm and thrown her out the door.
               In 1647, according to the tax register, Van der Helst lived for f250 on the Walenpleintje (a small square in front of the Walloon church in Amsterdam, of which Van der Helst was a member) on the side of the Hoogstraat. He therefore had moved shortly before or shortly after the scene with Keetje (Cornelia) Willems. His testament of 1638 was made in the home of Jan van der Pijlen in the Korte Koningstraat, also near the Nieuwmarkt. In 1663, he rented for f650 the house “het hekje” on the Nieuwmarkt, between the Kloveniersburgwal and the Antoniebreestraat, which was property of the city. When the treasurers shortly thereafter decided to sell the house, he settled in the Nieuwe Doelenstraat, where he died in 1670.] See Van Gent,Bartholomeus van der Helst, for a modern biography of the painter (pp. 22-35).

  12. 12. Andries and Cornelis Bicker played an important role in foiling the attack by Prince William II on Amsterdam in 1650.

  13. 13. [Meijer’s note: See my Wandeling door de zalen der Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam. The portrait nowadays is in the home of Mr. J. D. Waller.] Both portraits are still in a Dutch private collection. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, andD. C. Meijer, Wandeling door de zalen der Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: J. M. E. & G. H. Meijer, 1876), 100.

  14. 14. [Meijer’s note: His brother Cornelis is the lieutenant in The Meagre Company by Frans Hals and Pieter Codde (today in the Rijksmuseum). Their sister Aeltje married Burgomaster Gerbrand Pancras in 1613.]

  15. 15. [1]Meijer quotes extensively from Vondel’s poems Op d’afbeeldinge van den E. heere Gerardus Hulft, Geschildert door G. Flinck, toen hy stont op zyn vertreck naer Oost-Indien (1654) and Op den Ed. H.r Gerard Hulft (1656). Vondel also wrote Op het Vertrek Van den E. Heere Geeraart Hulft, Directeur generaal in de Oost-Indiën (1654), commemorating Hulft’s departure for the East Indies, and Op den Tafelkrans Voor den Heer Geeraert Hulft, Directeur generael in de Oostindien, Konstig van parlemoêr in een toetsteene tafel door Ryswyck gevlochten (1654), on a present given to Hulft. Finally Vondel wrote a poem on a portrait of himself, that he apparently sent to Hulft, Aan myne afbeeldinge, door Govaart Flink geschildert. toenze den heer directeur generaal Geraart Hulft in Oost-Indien toegezonden werd (1655). Flinck’s portrait of Hulft is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (see fig. 3). See Joost van den Vondel, “Op d’afbeeldinge van den E. heere Gerardus Hulft, Geschildert door G. Flinck, toen hy stont op zyn vertreck naer Oost-Indien,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel,  “Op den Ed. H.r Gerard Hulft,” (1656) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Op het Vertrek Van den E. Heere Geeraart Hulft, Directeur generaal in de Oost-Indiën,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Op den Tafelkrans Voor den Heer Geeraert Hulft, Directeur generael in de Oostindien,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Aen myne Afbeeldinge, door Govaert Flinck geschildert; Toenze den Heere Directeur Generael Geeraert Huift in Oostindien toegezonden wiert,” (1655) DBNL.

  16. 16. [Meijer’s note: The other sergeant is called Dirk de Lange; he succeeded Blauw when he became the captain of the company in 1647, in Bicker’s place.] Van Gent, in contrast to Meijer, identifies the sergeant to the left as De Lange and the one to the right as Rendorp. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, 152-155.

  17. 17. [Meijer’s note: He is not a young Bicker. Roelof’s only son was born in 1643.] Van Gent suggests it is Cornelis Wilkens the younger son of one of the depicted officers. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 152-155.

  18. 18. [Meijer’s note: There is also a boy depicted in Johannes Spilberg’s civic guard portrait (see fig. 6) (from the family Van de Poll) but not as prominently positioned as in Van der Helst’s portrait. As communicated to me by a qualified source, the Düsseldorf painter Andreas Achenbach owns a civic guard piece – yet not with life-size figures nor painted for the civic guard halls. In this portrait, Burgomaster Cornelis de Graeff is depicted with two sons. A drawing after the painting by Mr. H. J. Scholten with these boys (which came into the possession of Mr. de Graeff van Polsbroek esq. in The Hague at the sale in 1877) was described less correctly in the catalogue as “l’incorporation dans la garde civique.” This piece, formerly attributed to Van der Helst, has now been reattributed to Gerard Lundens by qualified connoisseurs. This is a variation on the large painting by Adriaen Backer, 1642, nowadays still in the council hall in the Amsterdam city hall (no. 8).]

  19. 19. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 24; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 40.

  20. 20. [Meijer’s note: The civic guard portrait with Roelof Bicker and his friends was, just like Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, painted for the large hall of the harquebusiers. It adorned one of the short sides: the north wall above the chimney “near the entrance.”]

  21. 21. [Meijer’s note: Many of the names on the plate of the Civic Guards Meal can be found in the tax register of 1647/49. Calaber lived on the Rokin near the Schapenplein, Oyens on the other canal of the Rokin, Hartog on the “Wester voorburgwal.” Dommer and Sparwer were neighbors on the Rokin at the Duifjessteeg: the house of the latter had an entrance on both the Kalverstraat as the Rokin. After the death of sergeant Dirk Claesz Thoveling one finds his daughter with her husband, Balthasar van Venne, still in the house on the Achterburgwal (today Spuistraat). The fact that Gerrit Pietersz van Astenraet lived on the Rokin with his son Andries, when the latter married Anna van de Kerckhove from the Barndesteeg in 1647, aged twenty-two, was already known from the marriage register. The painter Paulus Hennekyn lived in the Kalverstraat according to the notes in this journal (III, 149).] A. D. de Vries, “Biografische aantekeningen,” Oud Holland 3 (1885): 135–60. Christoffel Poock was the civic guard hall’s keeper (castelein). http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501785X00323

  22. 22. Currently one of the branches of the Library of the University of Amsterdam occupies the space, where a new building was erected after the church was demolished.

  23. 23. [Meijer’s note: Belonging to the family De Bas, who in their family coat-of-arms derived the lamb from it.]

  24. 24. [Meijer’s note: Born 1605 or 1606. Doctor of law. Married in1634, to Catharina Opsy. 1636 alderman, 1643 council, 1650 colonel of the civic guards, 1653 burgomaster, 1654 member of the Admiralty, 1656 envoy to England, 1658 again burgomaster, 1659 treasurer, 1662 again burgomaster, 1664 member of the States-General, 1667 burgomaster for the fourth time, and finally, in that same year sheriff. In 1661, he built a beautiful house on the Keizersgracht opposite the theater. When he was captain of district 17 he still lived on the Singel at the Kruissteeg, nowadays Schoorsteenvegersteeg. He died on March 12, 1669. A beautiful medal with his bust in classical costume and that of his wife “C. Optia” was coined after his death. In some examples, the reverse has Witsen’s coat of arms instead of his wife’s bust. Candide et cordate was his motto, and from that we know he was really a man of his word and of courageous deeds. The ironic expression that plays around his mouth in the portraits that van der Helst made of him, however, does not signify a loveable nature; instead it marks the magistrate who answered a burgher who invoked his city privileges, “Tut, tut, what privileges! The burghers of Amsterdam have long since lost their privileges.” (Wachtpraetje, tusschen een sarjant, adelborst, en schutter, 1672) Wachtpraetje, Tusschen een Sarjant, Adelborst, en Schutter, Gehouden over de oude Voor-rechten der Amsterdamse Burgers, in der selver Wachthuys aen de Uytrechtse Poort (Amsterdam, 1672).Vondel and Vos praised him in their verses, but among art historians he is not held in high esteem, since he was the merciless creditor of Rembrandt. One of his contemporaries (Bontemantel) also does not acquit him of miserliness. (Bontemantel’s notes were published by Kernkamp –Hans Bontemantel, De regeeringe van Amsterdam, soo in ‘t civiel als crimineel en militaire (1653–1672), edited by G. W. Kernkamp [The Hague: Nijhof, 1897]– and since Meijer does not give page numbers it is not quite clear which statement by Bontemantel he means.) One of his sons, Burgomaster Nicolaas Witsen,acquired great fame through his merits as a statesman and scholar and through his friendly relations with Czar Peter the Great.]

  25. 25. Today housing the Scheepvaartmuseum.

  26. 26. [Meijer’s note: Alberdingk Thijm] Alberdingk Thijm, Voor-reden tot de afbeeldinghe (see note 2 above).

  27. 27. One of the four: Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13972.

  28. 28. [Meijer’s note: according to the notes of Bontemantel (manuscript in the archives [published by Kernkamp in 1897]) that position had become a pure sinecure shared among the [city] government officials. The governors had not much more to do than collect and impose the income (mostly the lease of the keepers) or… to spend it, with banquets or portrayals (“The companies are painted from the purses of the civic guards: and the governors clearly from the general means.”) Banning Cocq, whose honest heart resisted this, had already proposed that the position would rotate; but after his death that was forgotten. In 1672, as a result of monetary need, Coenraad van Beuningen pushed the decision to allow the position of governor to become extinct, thus letting the city accrue income from the civic guard halls.]

  29. 29. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 31.

  30. 30. See the translation of this document in JHNA 5, no. 1 (Winter 2013).

  31. 31. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 41; Jan Six and W. Del Court, “De Amsterdamsche Schutterstukken,” Oud Holland 21 (1903): 66–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501703X00071 Egerton Manuscript, Arms, in colors, of the Masters of the Hand-bow Company of Amsterdam, 1477–1659;-Portraits and arms of members of the same Company, for the same period, large oblong quarto, British Library, Bibl. Eg. 983. The Egerton manuscript will be published, in full, in the upcoming issue of Jaarboek Amstelodamum, due to appear in April 2014.

  32. 32. Today the identification of the sitters in the portrait has changed: Jan de Bray, Portrait of Abraham Casteleyn and His Wife Margarieta van Bancken, 1663. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-3280.

  33. 33. MS Egerton 983, fol. 46; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 104; Six and Del Court, “De Amsterdamsche Schutterstukken,” 71–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501703X00071

  34. 34. The drinking horn is kept in the Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13966.

  35. 35. [Meijer’s note: Van Dyk and, following him, Wagenaar call [Jacob] the brother of the painter. That does not appear in the notes of the baptismal and marriage registers but neither does the opposite [that they were not brothers]. Jacob van der Helst was appointed keeper of the Handboogdoelen on 31 January 1664, according to the Groot Memoriaal V, 126 (SAA 5023, Archief van de Burgemeesters: Groot-memoriaal, no. 5: 1659 augustus 16–1669 augustus 29, f. 126), succeeding Jan Adriaansz Keyser, after whom, according to Dapper, in 1663 this civic guard hall was still called “Keysers-doelen.” (Olfert Dapper, Historische beschrijvinge der stadt Amsterdam [Amsterdam, 1663], 48.)
              Shortly before June 1665 Jacob van der Helst passed away and his widow Geesjen Halter “with unanimous vote” was appointed in his place. Later the position was held by their son Samuel, who when his father died, was only thirteen years old. The mother still lived in 1678 when Samuel married Machtelt Scholten, a niece of Daniel Elsevier. Samuel, although already sickly shortly before his marriage, lived until 1696. In 1684 and 1686 his children were buried. According to Van Dyk, the Amsterdam preacher Hugo van der Helst, from whom portraits in mezzotint by Verkolje are known, was a son of the keeper of the civic guard hall. This is not impossible, because he became a preacher in 1682 and the marriage, in 1675 of Cecilia van der Elst, living on the Singel, for whom (her brother?) Samuel served as a witness, and in whom I suppose seeing a daughter of Jacob, to Dr. Nicolaus Vedelius, a preacher in the French church in Heusden, proves that there was no opposition to the clerical rank in the family of the civic guard hall keeper.] The woman is Catharina de Wolf. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 232-235.

  36. 36. Caspar Commelin, Beschryvinge van Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1665).

  37. 37. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 39–40.

  38. 38. http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/cartelfr/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=25662&langue=fr

  39. 39. Musée du Louvre, inv. no. 1332.It is now generally attributed to Lundens (though the Louvre still lists it as Van der Helst); see Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, Rembrandt: The Nightwatch (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982), 25–26.

  40. 40. [Meijer’s note: In this drawing there are no names, yet the names of the governors and the year 1653 are mentioned in the caption.]  

  41. 41. [Meijer’s note: To elucidate the difference between the first names of Van de Poll in the paintings in Amsterdam and Paris, one has to resort to the presumption that Van der Helst in painting the latter has made a small error. That is because a young man with a first name that starts with a B does not exist in the genealogy of the Van de Poll family, and the work in Paris is preserved too well to be able to assume that that letter has been applied on it by overpainting.]

  42. 42. [Meijer’s note: On this sheet, signed baert van der helst f, which was sold in 1878 in Amsterdam for f150, there were also three archers in the background.]

  43. 43. The new location of city hall when the city hall on Dam Square became the Royal Palace in 1808.

  44. 44. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,”, 161–87.

  45. 45. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38–39.

  46. 46. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 44; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 39.

  47. 47. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 43; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38.

  48. 48. Tobias van Domselaer, Beschryvinge van Amsterdam: haar eerste oorspronk uyt den huyze der heeren van Aemstel en Aemstellant: met een verhaal van haar leven en dappere krijgsdaden (Amsterdam, 1665).

  49. 49. [Meijer’s note: Also Mr. J. F. Gebhard Jr. came already to the conclusion that the painting must be the youngest governor’s piece of the Harquebusier Civic Guard Hall in his Leven van Nic. Witsen (Vol. II, p. 3)]. J. F. Gebhard Jr., Het leven van Mr. Nicolaas Cornelisz. Witsen (1641–1717)(Utrecht, 1881–82).

  50. 50. Meijer is probably referring to Karel Dujardin, Portrait of Joan Reynst, ca. 1670–75, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no.  SK-A-191, erroneously identifying the portrayed man as Gerard Reynst, father of Joan. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (pp.  247-248),  identifies the man with the reddish hair as Simon van Hoorn, and the man in front of the table as Gerard Reijnst.

  51. 51. It was perhaps dark in 1887, but not anymore. Especially after the recent restoration by Annetje Boersma, it is indeed rather bright.

  52. 52. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 43 ; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38.

  53. 53. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 259-260,identifies the man on the right as Joan Huydecoper, to the left of him, Hendrick Dircksz Spiegel. Next to him, Joris Backer. According to Van Gent, the youngest governor is Frans Reael or Gerard Hasselaer. They were both governor in 1663, but it is not clear which of them became a governor first.

  54. 54. Albertus Brondgeest (1786–1849), Portraits of Four Seventeenth-century Amsterdam Burgomasters (after Rembrandt, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Claes Pietersz Lastman, Jacob Backer), 1827. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. TA 12521.

  55. 55. Attributed to Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Longbow Civic Guards, 1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13965 (fig. 9).

  56. 56. Wachtpraetje, Tusschen een Sarjant, Adelborst, en Schutter, Gehouden over de oude Voor-rechten der Amsterdamse Burgers, in der selver Wachthuys aen de Uytrechtse Poort (Amsterdam, 1672); Hans Bontemantel, De regeeringe van Amsterdam soo in ‘t civiel als crimineel en militaire (1653–1672) ontworpen, edited by G. W. Kernkamp (The Hague:  Nijhof, 1897.

  57. 57. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 24: Born ca. 1613, Parents: Lodewijk Lowijs van der Helst (ca. 1578–ca. 1638) and (marriage ca. 1608) Aeltgen Bartels (d. 1636).

  58. 58. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,” 161–87.

  59. 59. He was Bartholomeus’s uncle. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 414.

  60. 60. A manor in Heemstede, south of Haarlem.

  61. 61. Jacobus Heyblocq, Farrago Latino-Belgica, of Mengelmoes van Latijnsche en Duitsche gedichten (Amsterdam, 1669), 259. 

  62. 62. Jan Six, “Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy,” Oud Holland 4 (1886), 81–108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501786X00142 

  63. 63. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 414: They had two children.

  64. 64. Bredius, De Vries, and Muller, Catalogus der schilderijen in het Museum Kunstliefde te Utrecht.

  65. 65. It is in fact a portrait of Michiel Nouts, who was carillonneur of the city hall on Dam Square, the building depicted behind him.

  66. 66. Joost van den Vondel, Op het Klokmusyk t’Amsterdam (1661)DBNL: “met voet en vingeren/ Klancken weet dooreen te slingeren/ (En) verdooft met klokgeluit/ D’aller eêlste kerk koraelen/ Speelt met klocken, als cymbaelen.”

Primary Sources

Dapper, Olfert. Historische beschrijving der stadt Amsterdam. Amsterdam, 1663.

Domselaer, Tobias van. Beschryvinge van Amsterdam : haar eerste oorspronk uyt den huyze der heeren van Aemstel en Aemstellant: met een verhaal van haar leven en dappere krijgsdaden. Amsterdam, 1665.

Heyblocq, Jacobus. Farrago Latino-Belgica, of Mengelmoes van Latijnsche en Duitsche gedichten. Amsterdam, 1669. http://books.google.nl/books?id=H91IAAAAcAAJ&hl=nl&pg=PA264 – v=onepage&q&f=false

Egerton Manuscript. Arms, in colors, of the Masters of the Hand-bow Company of Amsterdam, 1477–1659;-Portraits and arms of members of the same Company, for the same period. Large oblong quarto. British Library, Bibl. Eg. 983. To be published in full in the next volume of the Jaarboek Amstelodamum, to appear in April 2014.

Wachtpraetje, Tusschen een Sarjant, Adelborst, en Schutter, Gehouden over de oude Voor-rechten der Amsterdamse Burgers, in der selver Wachthuys aen de Uytrechtse Poort.Amsterdam, 1672.

Published Primary Sources

Beschrijving der schilderijen van het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam, met historische aanteekeningen en facsimile’s der naamteekens. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum,1880.

Bontemantel, Hans. De regeeringe van Amsterdam, soo in ‘t civiel als crimineel en militaire (1653–1672). Edited by G. W. Kernkamp. The Hague: Nijhof, 1897. http://www.dbnl.org/titels/titel.php?id=bont014rege01

Commelin, Caspar. Beschryvinge van Amsterdam. Amsterdam, 1665. http://books.google.nl/books?id=-HBUAAAAYAAJ&ots=f4geF2P90T&dq=inauthor%3A%22Caspar Commelin%22&hl=nl&pg=PA664%23v=onepage&q&f=false#v=onepage&q&f=false

Vondel, Joostvan den. “Aen myne Afbeeldinge, door Govaert Flinck geschildert. Toenze den Heere Directeur Generael Geeraert Huift in Oostindien toegezonden wiert” (1655). DBNL (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren)http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/vond001dewe05_01/vond001dewe05_01_0213.php#208

Vondel, Joostvan den. “Op d’afbeeldinge van den E. heere Gerardus Hulft, Geschildert door G. Flinck, toen hy stont op zyn vertreck naer Oost-Indien” (1654).DBNL (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren)http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/vond001dewe05_01/vond001dewe05_01_0185.php

Vondel, Joostvan den. “Op den Ed. H.r Gerard Hulft” (1656). DBNL (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren)http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/vond001dewe08_01/vond001dewe08_01_0009.php

Vondel, Joost van den. “Op den Tafelkrans Voor den Heer Geeraert Hulft, Directeur generael in de Oostindien” (1654). DBNL (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren)http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/vond001dewe05_01/vond001dewe05_01_0186.php

Vondel, Joost van den. Op het Klokmusyk t’Amsterdam, 1661.

Vondel, Joostvan den. “Op het Vertrek Van den E. Heere Geeraart Hulft, Directeur generaal in de Oost-Indiën” (1654). DBNL (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren)http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/vond001dewe05_01/vond001dewe05_01_0187.php

Published Secondary Sources

Alberdingk Thijm, J. A. Voor-reden tot de afbeeldinghe van de maeltijt gehouden door een corporaelschap van het blauwe vendel van het Amsterdamsche Schuttersgild en aen-gherecht op de boven-zaele van St. Joris Doelen, ter viering van de eeuwige vrede, ghelijck die gheschildert is door Barth. vander Helst. Amsterdam, 1885.

Bredius, Abraham, Adrianus Daniël de Vries, and Samuel Muller. Catalogus der schilderijen in het Museum Kunstliefde te Utrecht. Utrecht, 1885.

Dyk, Jan van. Kunst en Historiekundige beschryving en aanmerkingen over alle de schilderyen op het Stadhuis te Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Yver, 1758. http://books.google.nl/books?id=UMA9AAAAcAAJ&hl=nl&pg=PP11 – v=onepage&q&f=false

Gebhard Jr., J. F. Het leven van Mr. Nicolaas Cornelisz. Witsen (1641–1717). Utrecht, 1881–82.

Gent, Judith van. Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk. Zwolle: Waanders, 2011.

Haverkamp Begemann, Egbert. Rembrandt, the Nightwatch. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.

Meijer, D. C. Wandeling door de zalen der Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam. Amsterdam: J. M. E. & G. H. Meijer, 1876.

Meijer, D. C., Jr., and P. H. Witkamp. Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam, gehouden in den zomer van 1876. Amsterdam: Van Langenhuysen, 1876.

Scheltema, Pieter. “De schilderijen in de drie doelens te Amsterdam, beschreven door G. Schaep, 1653.” Aemstel´s Oudheid 7 (1885): 121–41. http://dbnl.org/arch/sche078aems07_01/pag/sche078aems07_01.pdf

Scheltema, Pieter. Historische beschrijving der schilderijen van het stadhuis te Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Stadsdrukkerij, 1879.

Scheltema, Pieter. “Redevoering over het leven en de werken van den kunstschilder Bartholomeus van der Helst.” Aemstel’s Oudheid 1 (Amsterdam 1855): 161–87. http://www.dbnl.org/arch/sche078aems01_01/pag/sche078aems01_01.pdf

Six, Jan. “Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy.” Oud Holland 4 (1886): 81–108.http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501786X00142

Six, Jan, and W. Del Court. “De Amsterdamsche Schutterstukken.” Oud Holland 21 (1903): 65–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501703X00071

Vries, Adrianus Daniël de. “Biografische aantekeningen.” Oud Holland 3 (1885): 135–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501785X00323

List of Illustrations

Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Company of Captain Cornelis Witsen and Lieutenan,  1648,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 1 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Company of Captain Cornelis Witsen and Lieutenant Johan Oetgens van Waveren Celebrating the Treaty of Münster (The Civic Guards Meal), 1648. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-2 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7328). [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Company of Captain Roelof Bicker and Lieutenant J, 1639,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 2 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Company of Captain Roelof Bicker and Lieutenant Jan Michielsz Blaeuw, 1639. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-375 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7327). [comparison viewer]
Govert Flinck,  Portrait of Gerard Pietersz Hulft (1621–1656, 1654,  Rijksmuseum, Museum
Fig. 3 Govert Flinck, Portrait of Gerard Pietersz Hulft (1621–1656), 1654.Rijksmuseum Museum, inv. no. SK-A-3101. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Drinking Horn of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (H, 1566,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 4 Anonymous, Drinking Horn of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards,1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13966. [comparison viewer]
Leendert Claes,  Glass Screw,  ca. 1606–9,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 5 Leendert Claes, Glass Screw, ca. 1606–9. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13969. [comparison viewer]
Govert Flinck,  The Governors of the Harquebusier Civic Guards, 1642,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 6 Govert Flinck, The Governors of the Harquebusier Civic Guards, 1642. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-370 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam, SA 7316). [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  The Governors of the Longbow (Handboog) Civic Gu, 1653,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 7 Bartholomeus van der Helst, The Governors of the Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, 1653. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7329. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Staff of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog),  ca. 1510–30,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 8 Anonymous, Staff of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, ca. 1510–30. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13960. [comparison viewer]
Anonymous,  Chain of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog),  ca. 1510–30,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 9 Anonymous, Chain of the St. Sebastian or Longbow (Handboog) Civic Guards, ca. 1510–30. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13961. [comparison viewer]
Johannes Spilberg,  The Company of Captain Jan van de Poll and Lieut,  1650,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 10 Johannes Spilberg, The Company of Captain Jan van de Poll and Lieutenant Gijsbert van de Poll, 1650. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7406. [comparison viewer]
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  The Governors of the Harquebusiers [Kloveniers] , 1655,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 11 Bartholomeus van der Helst, The Governors of the Harquebusiers [Kloveniers] Civic Guards, 1655. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 2101. [comparison viewer]
 Bartholomeusvan der Helst,  The Four Governors of the Crossbow (Voetboog), 1656,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 12 Bartholomeusvan der Helst, The Four Governors of the Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1656. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 7330. [comparison viewer]
Frederik Jans,  Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voe,  1547,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 13 Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1547. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13964. [comparison viewer]
Frederik Jans,  Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voe,  1566,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 14 Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Crossbow (Voetboog) Civic Guards, 1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no.  KA 13965. [comparison viewer]
Lodewijk van der Helst,  Portrait of Michiel Servaesz. Nouts, 1670,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 15 Lodewijk van der Helst, Portrait of Michiel Servaesz. Nouts, 1670. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA 2998. [comparison viewer]

Footnotes

  1. 1. For the most recent information on Van der Helst’s life and work, see Judith van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk (Zwolle: Waanders, 2011).

  2. 2. [Meijer’s note: Voor-reden tot de Afbeeldinghe van “de Maeltijt” shown with living actors in the Paleis voor Volksvlijt, at the opening of the new (Rijks)museum July 13, 1885.] J. A. Alberdingk Thijm, Voor-reden tot de afbeeldinghe van de maeltijt gehouden door een corporaelschap van het blauwe vendel van het Amsterdamsche Schuttersgild en aen-gherecht op de boven-zaele van St. Joris Doelen, ter viering van de eeuwige vrede, ghelijck die gheschildert is door Barth. vander Helst (Amsterdam, 1885).

  3. 3. [Meijer’s note: Born 1618, married 1636, widowed 1670, deceased 1679. The correct details of the life of Van der Helst were first published in the catalogue of the museum Kunstliefde in Utrecht by Mr. A. D de Vries Az. and A. Bredius.] See Abraham Bredius, Adrianus Daniël de Vries, and Samuel Muller, Catalogus der schilderijen in het Museum Kunstliefde te Utrecht (Utrecht, 1885).

  4. 4. The year 1878 must be a typo. The Historical Exhibition in Amsterdam was held in 1876.

  5. 5. Beschrijving der schilderijen van het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam, met historische aanteekeningen en facsimile’s der naamteekens (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1880).

  6. 6. Op d’afbeelding van Mejuffer Konstancy Reinst, Door vander Helst geschildert: aan den zelfde

    Op Duitsch Apelles, op, verschijn met puik van verve’:

    Want Reinst verwacht u om te leeven op ‘t panneel.

    Een geestig ommetrek vereist een wis penseel.

    Natuur vertoont in haar vrou Venus en Minerve.

    Zoo ziet men glans en geest, dat zelde beurt, gepaart.

    Hoe! is dit leeven? neen: want Reinst, heel braaf van aart,

    Vertoont zich hier van verf. ô loffelijk vermoogen!

    Wie ‘t oog door verf bedriegt heeft eerelijk bedroogen.

    On the portrait of Miss Konstancy Reinst, painted by Van der Helst: to the same

    Come on German Apelles, come on, appear with your best paint:

    Because Reinst expects you to live on the panel,

    A witty outline demands a sure brush

    Nature shows itself in her woman Venus and Minerva.

    Thus one sees luster and spirit, which happens rarely, together

    How! Is this alive? No, because Reinst, very brave by nature

    Shows herself here in paint; oh [that] laudable ability

    That which deceives the eye with paint, has deceived honestly]

     

  7. 7. [Meijer’s note: Aemstel’s Oudheid, I, 161.] Pieter Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven en de werken van den kunstschilder Bartholomeus van der Helst,” Aemstel’s Oudheid 1 (1855): 161–87; the part about Catharina Reinst is on pp. 166–67.

  8. 8. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,” 165–66.The innkeeper of the Longbow Civic Guard Hall, Jacob van der Helst, was not related to Bartholomeus van der Helst.

  9. 9. [Meijer’s note: The year is presently hidden under the frame. It is mentioned as 1639 by Van Dyk, Beschrijving der schilderijen op ’t Stadhuis and by Scheltema in his catalogue.] Jan van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige beschryving en aanmerkingen over alle de schilderyen op het Stadhuis te Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Yver, 1758), 23; Pieter Scheltema, Historische beschrijving der schilderijen van het stadhuis te Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Stadsdrukkerij, 1879), 37. Scheltema gives 1643, the date on the separate nameplate that used to be kept with the painting. The list by Schaep also notes 1643, which was printed erroneously as 1634 in Pieter Scheltema, “De schilderen in de drie doelen te Amsterdam, beschreven door G. Schaep, 1653,” Aemstel’s Oudheid 7 (1885): 136.

  10. 10. As we now know, since Van der Helst was born in 1613, he was in fact twenty-six.

  11. 11. [Meijer’s note: At the time of his marriage in 1636 Van der Helst lived on the “Oostermarkt”(=Nieuwmarkt). The proof that he lived there also in or just before 1648 was found by Mr. Bredius in an amusing document of that year, in the papers of the notary P. Velsen. Cornelia Willems, maid of Van der Elst, painter on the Nieuwmarkt, declared in it that Annetje van der Elst, the housewife, had wanted to evict her at night amidst much altercation. She had thrown a mixing jug at her head and the manservant of Van der Elst had taken her by the arm and thrown her out the door.
               In 1647, according to the tax register, Van der Helst lived for f250 on the Walenpleintje (a small square in front of the Walloon church in Amsterdam, of which Van der Helst was a member) on the side of the Hoogstraat. He therefore had moved shortly before or shortly after the scene with Keetje (Cornelia) Willems. His testament of 1638 was made in the home of Jan van der Pijlen in the Korte Koningstraat, also near the Nieuwmarkt. In 1663, he rented for f650 the house “het hekje” on the Nieuwmarkt, between the Kloveniersburgwal and the Antoniebreestraat, which was property of the city. When the treasurers shortly thereafter decided to sell the house, he settled in the Nieuwe Doelenstraat, where he died in 1670.] See Van Gent,Bartholomeus van der Helst, for a modern biography of the painter (pp. 22-35).

  12. 12. Andries and Cornelis Bicker played an important role in foiling the attack by Prince William II on Amsterdam in 1650.

  13. 13. [Meijer’s note: See my Wandeling door de zalen der Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam. The portrait nowadays is in the home of Mr. J. D. Waller.] Both portraits are still in a Dutch private collection. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, andD. C. Meijer, Wandeling door de zalen der Historische Tentoonstelling van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: J. M. E. & G. H. Meijer, 1876), 100.

  14. 14. [Meijer’s note: His brother Cornelis is the lieutenant in The Meagre Company by Frans Hals and Pieter Codde (today in the Rijksmuseum). Their sister Aeltje married Burgomaster Gerbrand Pancras in 1613.]

  15. 15. [1]Meijer quotes extensively from Vondel’s poems Op d’afbeeldinge van den E. heere Gerardus Hulft, Geschildert door G. Flinck, toen hy stont op zyn vertreck naer Oost-Indien (1654) and Op den Ed. H.r Gerard Hulft (1656). Vondel also wrote Op het Vertrek Van den E. Heere Geeraart Hulft, Directeur generaal in de Oost-Indiën (1654), commemorating Hulft’s departure for the East Indies, and Op den Tafelkrans Voor den Heer Geeraert Hulft, Directeur generael in de Oostindien, Konstig van parlemoêr in een toetsteene tafel door Ryswyck gevlochten (1654), on a present given to Hulft. Finally Vondel wrote a poem on a portrait of himself, that he apparently sent to Hulft, Aan myne afbeeldinge, door Govaart Flink geschildert. toenze den heer directeur generaal Geraart Hulft in Oost-Indien toegezonden werd (1655). Flinck’s portrait of Hulft is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (see fig. 3). See Joost van den Vondel, “Op d’afbeeldinge van den E. heere Gerardus Hulft, Geschildert door G. Flinck, toen hy stont op zyn vertreck naer Oost-Indien,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel,  “Op den Ed. H.r Gerard Hulft,” (1656) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Op het Vertrek Van den E. Heere Geeraart Hulft, Directeur generaal in de Oost-Indiën,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Op den Tafelkrans Voor den Heer Geeraert Hulft, Directeur generael in de Oostindien,” (1654) DBNL; Joost van den Vondel, “Aen myne Afbeeldinge, door Govaert Flinck geschildert; Toenze den Heere Directeur Generael Geeraert Huift in Oostindien toegezonden wiert,” (1655) DBNL.

  16. 16. [Meijer’s note: The other sergeant is called Dirk de Lange; he succeeded Blauw when he became the captain of the company in 1647, in Bicker’s place.] Van Gent, in contrast to Meijer, identifies the sergeant to the left as De Lange and the one to the right as Rendorp. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, 152-155.

  17. 17. [Meijer’s note: He is not a young Bicker. Roelof’s only son was born in 1643.] Van Gent suggests it is Cornelis Wilkens the younger son of one of the depicted officers. See Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 152-155.

  18. 18. [Meijer’s note: There is also a boy depicted in Johannes Spilberg’s civic guard portrait (see fig. 6) (from the family Van de Poll) but not as prominently positioned as in Van der Helst’s portrait. As communicated to me by a qualified source, the Düsseldorf painter Andreas Achenbach owns a civic guard piece – yet not with life-size figures nor painted for the civic guard halls. In this portrait, Burgomaster Cornelis de Graeff is depicted with two sons. A drawing after the painting by Mr. H. J. Scholten with these boys (which came into the possession of Mr. de Graeff van Polsbroek esq. in The Hague at the sale in 1877) was described less correctly in the catalogue as “l’incorporation dans la garde civique.” This piece, formerly attributed to Van der Helst, has now been reattributed to Gerard Lundens by qualified connoisseurs. This is a variation on the large painting by Adriaen Backer, 1642, nowadays still in the council hall in the Amsterdam city hall (no. 8).]

  19. 19. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 24; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 40.

  20. 20. [Meijer’s note: The civic guard portrait with Roelof Bicker and his friends was, just like Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, painted for the large hall of the harquebusiers. It adorned one of the short sides: the north wall above the chimney “near the entrance.”]

  21. 21. [Meijer’s note: Many of the names on the plate of the Civic Guards Meal can be found in the tax register of 1647/49. Calaber lived on the Rokin near the Schapenplein, Oyens on the other canal of the Rokin, Hartog on the “Wester voorburgwal.” Dommer and Sparwer were neighbors on the Rokin at the Duifjessteeg: the house of the latter had an entrance on both the Kalverstraat as the Rokin. After the death of sergeant Dirk Claesz Thoveling one finds his daughter with her husband, Balthasar van Venne, still in the house on the Achterburgwal (today Spuistraat). The fact that Gerrit Pietersz van Astenraet lived on the Rokin with his son Andries, when the latter married Anna van de Kerckhove from the Barndesteeg in 1647, aged twenty-two, was already known from the marriage register. The painter Paulus Hennekyn lived in the Kalverstraat according to the notes in this journal (III, 149).] A. D. de Vries, “Biografische aantekeningen,” Oud Holland 3 (1885): 135–60. Christoffel Poock was the civic guard hall’s keeper (castelein). http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501785X00323

  22. 22. Currently one of the branches of the Library of the University of Amsterdam occupies the space, where a new building was erected after the church was demolished.

  23. 23. [Meijer’s note: Belonging to the family De Bas, who in their family coat-of-arms derived the lamb from it.]

  24. 24. [Meijer’s note: Born 1605 or 1606. Doctor of law. Married in1634, to Catharina Opsy. 1636 alderman, 1643 council, 1650 colonel of the civic guards, 1653 burgomaster, 1654 member of the Admiralty, 1656 envoy to England, 1658 again burgomaster, 1659 treasurer, 1662 again burgomaster, 1664 member of the States-General, 1667 burgomaster for the fourth time, and finally, in that same year sheriff. In 1661, he built a beautiful house on the Keizersgracht opposite the theater. When he was captain of district 17 he still lived on the Singel at the Kruissteeg, nowadays Schoorsteenvegersteeg. He died on March 12, 1669. A beautiful medal with his bust in classical costume and that of his wife “C. Optia” was coined after his death. In some examples, the reverse has Witsen’s coat of arms instead of his wife’s bust. Candide et cordate was his motto, and from that we know he was really a man of his word and of courageous deeds. The ironic expression that plays around his mouth in the portraits that van der Helst made of him, however, does not signify a loveable nature; instead it marks the magistrate who answered a burgher who invoked his city privileges, “Tut, tut, what privileges! The burghers of Amsterdam have long since lost their privileges.” (Wachtpraetje, tusschen een sarjant, adelborst, en schutter, 1672) Wachtpraetje, Tusschen een Sarjant, Adelborst, en Schutter, Gehouden over de oude Voor-rechten der Amsterdamse Burgers, in der selver Wachthuys aen de Uytrechtse Poort (Amsterdam, 1672).Vondel and Vos praised him in their verses, but among art historians he is not held in high esteem, since he was the merciless creditor of Rembrandt. One of his contemporaries (Bontemantel) also does not acquit him of miserliness. (Bontemantel’s notes were published by Kernkamp –Hans Bontemantel, De regeeringe van Amsterdam, soo in ‘t civiel als crimineel en militaire (1653–1672), edited by G. W. Kernkamp [The Hague: Nijhof, 1897]– and since Meijer does not give page numbers it is not quite clear which statement by Bontemantel he means.) One of his sons, Burgomaster Nicolaas Witsen,acquired great fame through his merits as a statesman and scholar and through his friendly relations with Czar Peter the Great.]

  25. 25. Today housing the Scheepvaartmuseum.

  26. 26. [Meijer’s note: Alberdingk Thijm] Alberdingk Thijm, Voor-reden tot de afbeeldinghe (see note 2 above).

  27. 27. One of the four: Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13972.

  28. 28. [Meijer’s note: according to the notes of Bontemantel (manuscript in the archives [published by Kernkamp in 1897]) that position had become a pure sinecure shared among the [city] government officials. The governors had not much more to do than collect and impose the income (mostly the lease of the keepers) or… to spend it, with banquets or portrayals (“The companies are painted from the purses of the civic guards: and the governors clearly from the general means.”) Banning Cocq, whose honest heart resisted this, had already proposed that the position would rotate; but after his death that was forgotten. In 1672, as a result of monetary need, Coenraad van Beuningen pushed the decision to allow the position of governor to become extinct, thus letting the city accrue income from the civic guard halls.]

  29. 29. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 31.

  30. 30. See the translation of this document in JHNA 5, no. 1 (Winter 2013).

  31. 31. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 41; Jan Six and W. Del Court, “De Amsterdamsche Schutterstukken,” Oud Holland 21 (1903): 66–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501703X00071 Egerton Manuscript, Arms, in colors, of the Masters of the Hand-bow Company of Amsterdam, 1477–1659;-Portraits and arms of members of the same Company, for the same period, large oblong quarto, British Library, Bibl. Eg. 983. The Egerton manuscript will be published, in full, in the upcoming issue of Jaarboek Amstelodamum, due to appear in April 2014.

  32. 32. Today the identification of the sitters in the portrait has changed: Jan de Bray, Portrait of Abraham Casteleyn and His Wife Margarieta van Bancken, 1663. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-3280.

  33. 33. MS Egerton 983, fol. 46; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 104; Six and Del Court, “De Amsterdamsche Schutterstukken,” 71–76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501703X00071

  34. 34. The drinking horn is kept in the Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13966.

  35. 35. [Meijer’s note: Van Dyk and, following him, Wagenaar call [Jacob] the brother of the painter. That does not appear in the notes of the baptismal and marriage registers but neither does the opposite [that they were not brothers]. Jacob van der Helst was appointed keeper of the Handboogdoelen on 31 January 1664, according to the Groot Memoriaal V, 126 (SAA 5023, Archief van de Burgemeesters: Groot-memoriaal, no. 5: 1659 augustus 16–1669 augustus 29, f. 126), succeeding Jan Adriaansz Keyser, after whom, according to Dapper, in 1663 this civic guard hall was still called “Keysers-doelen.” (Olfert Dapper, Historische beschrijvinge der stadt Amsterdam [Amsterdam, 1663], 48.)
              Shortly before June 1665 Jacob van der Helst passed away and his widow Geesjen Halter “with unanimous vote” was appointed in his place. Later the position was held by their son Samuel, who when his father died, was only thirteen years old. The mother still lived in 1678 when Samuel married Machtelt Scholten, a niece of Daniel Elsevier. Samuel, although already sickly shortly before his marriage, lived until 1696. In 1684 and 1686 his children were buried. According to Van Dyk, the Amsterdam preacher Hugo van der Helst, from whom portraits in mezzotint by Verkolje are known, was a son of the keeper of the civic guard hall. This is not impossible, because he became a preacher in 1682 and the marriage, in 1675 of Cecilia van der Elst, living on the Singel, for whom (her brother?) Samuel served as a witness, and in whom I suppose seeing a daughter of Jacob, to Dr. Nicolaus Vedelius, a preacher in the French church in Heusden, proves that there was no opposition to the clerical rank in the family of the civic guard hall keeper.] The woman is Catharina de Wolf. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 232-235.

  36. 36. Caspar Commelin, Beschryvinge van Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1665).

  37. 37. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 39–40.

  38. 38. http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/cartelfr/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=25662&langue=fr

  39. 39. Musée du Louvre, inv. no. 1332.It is now generally attributed to Lundens (though the Louvre still lists it as Van der Helst); see Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, Rembrandt: The Nightwatch (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982), 25–26.

  40. 40. [Meijer’s note: In this drawing there are no names, yet the names of the governors and the year 1653 are mentioned in the caption.]  

  41. 41. [Meijer’s note: To elucidate the difference between the first names of Van de Poll in the paintings in Amsterdam and Paris, one has to resort to the presumption that Van der Helst in painting the latter has made a small error. That is because a young man with a first name that starts with a B does not exist in the genealogy of the Van de Poll family, and the work in Paris is preserved too well to be able to assume that that letter has been applied on it by overpainting.]

  42. 42. [Meijer’s note: On this sheet, signed baert van der helst f, which was sold in 1878 in Amsterdam for f150, there were also three archers in the background.]

  43. 43. The new location of city hall when the city hall on Dam Square became the Royal Palace in 1808.

  44. 44. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,”, 161–87.

  45. 45. Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38–39.

  46. 46. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 44; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 39.

  47. 47. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 43; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38.

  48. 48. Tobias van Domselaer, Beschryvinge van Amsterdam: haar eerste oorspronk uyt den huyze der heeren van Aemstel en Aemstellant: met een verhaal van haar leven en dappere krijgsdaden (Amsterdam, 1665).

  49. 49. [Meijer’s note: Also Mr. J. F. Gebhard Jr. came already to the conclusion that the painting must be the youngest governor’s piece of the Harquebusier Civic Guard Hall in his Leven van Nic. Witsen (Vol. II, p. 3)]. J. F. Gebhard Jr., Het leven van Mr. Nicolaas Cornelisz. Witsen (1641–1717)(Utrecht, 1881–82).

  50. 50. Meijer is probably referring to Karel Dujardin, Portrait of Joan Reynst, ca. 1670–75, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. no.  SK-A-191, erroneously identifying the portrayed man as Gerard Reynst, father of Joan. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (pp.  247-248),  identifies the man with the reddish hair as Simon van Hoorn, and the man in front of the table as Gerard Reijnst.

  51. 51. It was perhaps dark in 1887, but not anymore. Especially after the recent restoration by Annetje Boersma, it is indeed rather bright.

  52. 52. Van Dyk, Kunst en Historiekundige, 43 ; Scheltema, Historische beschrijving, 38.

  53. 53. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, pp. 259-260,identifies the man on the right as Joan Huydecoper, to the left of him, Hendrick Dircksz Spiegel. Next to him, Joris Backer. According to Van Gent, the youngest governor is Frans Reael or Gerard Hasselaer. They were both governor in 1663, but it is not clear which of them became a governor first.

  54. 54. Albertus Brondgeest (1786–1849), Portraits of Four Seventeenth-century Amsterdam Burgomasters (after Rembrandt, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Claes Pietersz Lastman, Jacob Backer), 1827. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. TA 12521.

  55. 55. Attributed to Frederik Jans, Drinking Horn of the St. George or Longbow Civic Guards, 1566. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. KA 13965 (fig. 9).

  56. 56. Wachtpraetje, Tusschen een Sarjant, Adelborst, en Schutter, Gehouden over de oude Voor-rechten der Amsterdamse Burgers, in der selver Wachthuys aen de Uytrechtse Poort (Amsterdam, 1672); Hans Bontemantel, De regeeringe van Amsterdam soo in ‘t civiel als crimineel en militaire (1653–1672) ontworpen, edited by G. W. Kernkamp (The Hague:  Nijhof, 1897.

  57. 57. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 24: Born ca. 1613, Parents: Lodewijk Lowijs van der Helst (ca. 1578–ca. 1638) and (marriage ca. 1608) Aeltgen Bartels (d. 1636).

  58. 58. Scheltema, “Redevoering over het leven,” 161–87.

  59. 59. He was Bartholomeus’s uncle. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 414.

  60. 60. A manor in Heemstede, south of Haarlem.

  61. 61. Jacobus Heyblocq, Farrago Latino-Belgica, of Mengelmoes van Latijnsche en Duitsche gedichten (Amsterdam, 1669), 259. 

  62. 62. Jan Six, “Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy,” Oud Holland 4 (1886), 81–108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/187501786X00142 

  63. 63. Van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst, p. 414: They had two children.

  64. 64. Bredius, De Vries, and Muller, Catalogus der schilderijen in het Museum Kunstliefde te Utrecht.

  65. 65. It is in fact a portrait of Michiel Nouts, who was carillonneur of the city hall on Dam Square, the building depicted behind him.

  66. 66. Joost van den Vondel, Op het Klokmusyk t’Amsterdam (1661)DBNL: “met voet en vingeren/ Klancken weet dooreen te slingeren/ (En) verdooft met klokgeluit/ D’aller eêlste kerk koraelen/ Speelt met klocken, als cymbaelen.”

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Imprint

Review: Peer Review (Double Blind)
DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2014.6.1.4
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Recommended Citation:
D. C. Meijer Jr., Tom van der Molen (translator), "The Amsterdam Civic Guard Pieces Within and Outside the New Rijksmuseum, Part III: Bartholomeus van der Helst," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 6:1 (Winter 2014) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2014.6.1.4