HEYDEN, Jan van der
(b. 1637, Gorinchem, d. 1712, Amsterdam)
Elegant Figures in the Grounds of a Baroque Palace1670s
Oil on silvered copper, 12 x 17 cm
Van der Heyden was one of the first Dutch painters to specialize in the townscape, although he also depicted rural scenes, landscapes, and, late in his life, still-lifes. However, even the recognizable scenes are only loosely based on actual views. Topographical accuracy does not seem to have been van der Heyden's primary interest and the combination of reality and fantasy often appeared, as it does in this painting, in the form of a contrast between modern, mostly imaginary, buildings and historical settings.
Adriaen van de Velde and Johannes Lingelbach both provided staffage for van der Heyden's paintings. Van de Velde painted the figures in the present composition.