Jan van der Heyden (Dutch, 1637–1712)
Oil on wood; 15 3/8 x 21 3/4 in. (39.1 x 55.2 cm)
Anonymous Gift, 1964 (64.65.2)
The Huis ten Bosch, or House in the Wood, still the residence of the Dutch queen today, originally was built for Amalia van Solms, wife of Stadholder Frederik Hendrik of Orange, as a retreat in the wooded meadowlands outside The Hague. Designed around 1645 by the Dutch courtly architects Pieter Post and Jacob van Campen, the palace was distinguished from the other courtly residences by a centralized, classical Italian composition, to which the garden was carefully fitted. Jan van der Heyden's main view of the palace's garden facade, and its pendant, a side view showing one of the garden pavilions, depict the layout in all its detail. No cost or effort was spared to decorate the place with fashionable French parterres de broderie, trellis pyramids, and, most remarkably, classical statues, placed at focal points on the central axis. Together with the classical urn and column depicted in the foreground, these classical sculptures were symbolic reminders of antiquity, emphasizing the ancientness and dignity of the House of Orange.