Heyden, Jan Van Der
amsterdam houses painted
HEYDEN, JAN VAN DER, was born at Gore= in 1637, and died at Amsterdam on the 12th of September 1712. He was an architectural landscape painter, a contemporary of Hobbema and Jacob Ruysdael, with the advantage, which they lacked, of a certain professional versatility; for, whilst they painted admirable pictures and starved, he varied the practice of art with the study of mechanics, improved the fire engine, and died superintendent of the lighting and director of the firemen's company at Amsterdam. Till 1672 he painted in partnership with Adrian van der Velde. After Adrian's death, and probably because of the loss which that event entailed upon him, lie accepted the offices to which allusion has just been made. At no period of artistic activity had the system of division of labour been more fully or more constantly applied to art than it was in Holland towards the close of the 17th century. Van der Hoyden, who was perfect as an architectural draughtsman in so far as he painted the outside of buildings and thoroughly mastered linear perspective, seldom turned his hand to the delineation of anything but brick houses and churches in streets and squares, or rows along canals, or " moated granges," common in his native country, He was a travelled man, had seen the Hague, Ghent, and Brussels, and bad ascended the Rhine past Xanten to Cologne, where he copied over and over again the tower and crane of the great cathedral. But he cared nothing for hill or vale, or stream or wood. He could reproduce the rows of bricks in a square of Dutch houses sparkling in the sun, or stunted trees and lines of dwellings varied by steeples, all in light or thrown into passing shadow by moving cloud. He had the art of painting microscopically without loss of breadth or keeping. But be could draw neither man nor beast, nor ships nor carts; and this was his disadvantage. His good genius under these circumstances was Adrian van der Velde, who enlivened his compositions with spirited figures ; and the joint labour of both is a delicate, minute, transparent work, radiant with glow and atmosphere, and most pleasant to look at. Almost all Van der Heyden's pieces are inscribed with his name alone, as if Van der Velde had been but a sleeping partner in his work. Like Heusch, he formed the first letters of his name into a monogrammatic interlacement. Very few of his • pictures are dated. One, a street in a Dutch town, of 1666, is in the Hope collection in London. Two of 1667, a bridge on a canal, lined with houses casting their reflexions into the water, and the town-house at Amsterdam, are in the galleries of the Hague and Florence. Another view of the clam and town-hall at Amsterdam, dated 1668, is in the Louvre. A church and houses in the museum of Dresden is inscribed 1673, In all there are seventy or more of Van der Heyden's works fairly accessible to the public - those which are least so being chiefly in English private collections. Eight capital examples are in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, two of which are views in Cologne. Four are in the London National Gallery, four at Amsterdam and Dresden. Munich and Cassel have two apiece, and two very fine ones are in Buckingham Palace. The rest are in public and private galleries in Vienna, Paris, Frankfort, and Carlsruhe.