HEYDEN, Jan van der
(b. 1637, Gorinchem, d. 1712, Amsterdam)


Dutch painter, active in Amsterdam. He painted some landscapes and still-lifes, but is celebrated as one of the greatest of all townscape painters. His views of towns are done with loving attention to detail, but the harmonious colours and sunny light of his elegantly composed pictures prevent the precise way he rendered foliage, bricks, and architectural detail from appearing dull or dry. In spite of the seemingly objective nature of his work, van der Heyden often took liberties with topographical accuracy and he also painted 'capricci'. Painting was only a part of his activity. for he was also involved in civic administration in Amsterdam. The fire hose is said to have been his invention and it is included in his Brandspuiten-boek ('Fire Engine Book'), a volume about fire-fighting equipment, illustrated with his own engravings, that he published in 1690.