QUELLINUS, Artus I
(b. 1609, Antwerpen, d. 1668, Antwerpen)
Reliefs in the Tribunal1651-54
Town Hall, Amsterdam
Artus Quellinus was contracted to supply the sculpted decoration for the façades and the many rooms in the Town Hall of Amsterdam, and from 1650 to 1663 he headed a workshop in Amsterdam. Working closely with Jacob van Campen, the architect of the building, and the burgomasters who made up the building committee, his large workshop shaped the sculptural programme for the Town Hall.
The carved ornamentation in the Tribunal (Vierschaar), the chamber in which justice was administered, is associated with justice, punishment and death. In the west wall there are three carved reliefs showing examples of the administration of justice taken from Roman and biblical history. The relief on the right depicts the Judgment of Brutus. The most eye-catching components of the integrated programme of decoration of the law court are the mourning caryatides with heads bowed, symbols of penance.