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Jan van der Heyden

1637 - 1712

Van der Heyden executed a few landscapes and still lifes, but was chiefly a painter of townscapes, notable for their exceptionally detailed handling. Imaginary views, anticipating the capricci of 18th-century Venetian painters, are common among his works - the figures are often by other artists.

Van der Heyden was a native of Gorinchem, though his family had moved to Amsterdam by 1650. He was trained, according to his biographer Houbraken, as a glass painter. Before 1661 he travelled extensively in the southern Netherlands and in Germany, making drawings later used in his paintings. From the late 1660s van der Heyden was also engaged in projects to improve street lighting and fire-fighting in Amsterdam.