List of people from the Dutch Golden Age

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The Dutch Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly equivalent to the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science and art were top ranking in the world.

The accompanying article about the Dutch Golden Age focuses on society, religion and culture. There are also articles about the Eighty Years' War (the Dutch revolt against Spain) and the Anglo-Dutch Wars. A concise broader picture is painted in History of the Netherlands.

People are listed here per category in order of year of birth.

Note: Many Dutchmen from this period had a middle name ending in szoon, which means son of. It is also commonly written as sz., for instance Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn.

Sciences and philosophy[edit]

Religion[edit]

  • Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609), Dutch theologian, served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden

Painting[edit]

The best known Dutch painters of the 17th century include:

For a more comprehensive listing, see the List of Dutch painters.

Less famous painters from this period were:

Architecture[edit]

The most famous Dutch architects of the 17th century were :

  • Lieven de Key (1560–1627), master builder of Haarlem; still used a fair amount of ornamentation, built De Waag (1598), front of the Town Hall (1597), De Vleeshal (1602–1603), New Church tower (1613), all of which are in Haarlem
  • Hendrick de Keyser (1565–1621), preferred a style that was much more sober than his contemporary Lieven de Key, built the Zuiderkerk (1606–1614), the Westerkerk (1620–1638) and the Exchange (1608–1611) in Amsterdam, Town Hall of Delft (1619), several canal houses in Amsterdam (see also section sculpture)
  • Jacob van Campen (1595–1657), embraced classicism fully and served as an example for many colleagues, built the Mauritshuis in The Hague (1635), the Dam Palace in Amsterdam (1648–1655), which was originally the town hall, now a royal palace

Less famous architects from this period were:

Literature[edit]

The most famous Dutch men of letters of the 17th century were:

  • Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679), poet and playwright, who wrote more than 30 plays, many of those based on biblical stories. After The Gijsbrecht (see above) his best known drama is Lucifer (1654). He translated many French, Italian, Latin and Greek works. A recurring theme is man's inner conflicts, on the one hand rebellious, on the other hand pledging obedience to God.
  • Gerbrand Adriaensz. Bredero (1585–1618), poet (sonnets) and dramatist (comedies), his most famous comedy, De Spaanse Brabander (English: The Spanish Brabanter), describes the seamy side of life in Amsterdam
  • Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647), historian, poet and dramatist, who wrote Nederlandsche Historiën (English: Dutch History), which was never completed, but highly valued. His poetry was of high standard as well. He introduced French and Italian lyricism into Dutch poetry.
  • Jacob Cats (1577–1660), poet, famous for his moralistic writings. Houwelijck and Trouringh (English:Marriage and Wedding ring) are two major volumes to educate the Dutch about these serious affairs. Indeed his all too serious tone, lacking humour and esprit, made him a lesser writer than the three named above, and sometimes the object of mockery. His Kinderen zijn hinderen (English: Children are a nuisance) is still a Dutch saying, often followed by the remark that Cats probably had forgotten that he had been a child himself.

Less famous literary men from this period were:

Sculpture[edit]

Dutch sculptors of the 17th century were:

  • Hendrick de Keyser (1565–1621), also an architect (see above). He created the Mausoleum for William of Orange in the Nieuwe Kerk (English: New Church) in Delft (1614). All ruling descendants of Willem of Orange and their kin have been interred here to this date. De Keyser also created the statue of Erasmus in Rotterdam (1618)
  • Artus I Quellinus (1609–1668), Artus II Quellinus (his nephew) (1625–1700) and Rombout Verhulst (1625–1696). All originating from the southern Netherlands (present day Belgium), they were the most prominent sculptors in the Northern Netherlands. Among their greatest works is the decoration of the Amsterdam city hall (built between 1648 and 1665), now known as the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

Music[edit]

The most famous Dutch composers of the 17th century were:

  • Jan P. Sweelinck (1562–1621), composer and organ player, major force in the development of 17th century organ music
  • Constantijn Huygens (1596–1687), more famous as a poet, member of the famous chamber of rhetoric De Muiderkring, composed some 800 pieces, most of which got lost, promoted use of the organ during church services

Less famous composers/musicians from this period were:

Exploration[edit]

Colonization[edit]

Business[edit]

Politics[edit]

Military[edit]

References[edit]