SOLD BY THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM TO BENEFIT FUTURE PAINTING ACQUISITIONS
Jan van der Heyden painted fourteen views of Maarssen and its daughter village Maarsseveen in the 1660s and 1670s, yet no other painter is recorded as having worked there. At this time, the lordship of Maarsseveen was held by the second Joan Huydecoper (1625-1704), a member of an extremely powerful family of Amsterdam burgomasters and a great patron of the arts in that city.1 The Huydecopers, who owned the building depicted in the present work, and used it as the administrative seat of their heerlijkleid, or manor,2 turned Maarsseveen from a sleepy farming village into a highly sophisticated country retreat for the Amsterdam rich. Some of Van der Heyden's paintings of the village were no doubt used by the family for propogandist purposes. Van der Heyden painted the Huydecoper's estate at Goudestein on the river Vecht near Maarssen on numerous occasions; see, for example, the view sold New York, Sotheby's, January 12, 1989, lot 118, or that in London, Apsley House, no. 1501. In Amsterdam Huydecoper appointed Van der Heyden supervisor of both streetlighting and, with his brother Nicolaas, of the city fire pumps; as a result the city bought all of its firefighting equipment from the brothers which, together with the large accompanying salaries, rendered their personal wealth considerable.
The sign shown on the inn displays the arms of the Maarsseveen and here the local officials would meet to administer justice and law. The exact site is today easily identifiable. Van der Heyden chose the spot where the Vecht joins the Dipendaalse Dijk. The Vecht, seen beyond the inn, bends sharply at this point so that, were the barge directly beneath the sign to start in motion, it would disappear to the right before reappearing in front of the distant stone gate, moving right to left. The vaart in the foreground where the women are washing clothes runs for only a few hundred yards north-eastwards where it joins another canal, the Zogwetering. One of the vaart's functions was to drain water from the Zogwetering to the Vecht, via the lock. Today, in place of the inn stands a house. The lock has been modernised but maintains its old shape, and a road now passes along the bank between the water and the building. The stone gate in the distance, which served as the entrance to Otterspoor or Gansenhoef, no longer exists.
1 According to Gary Schwartz ("Jan van der Heyden and the Huydecopers of Maarsseveen", in The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, 1983, pp. 198-200), Brants sold at least one other painting by Van der Heyden to Paillet through Jan de Bosch Jerz. (View of the Dam in the Louvre, Paris, for which Paillet paid 6,000 guilders) and so this work may have taken the same route to him.
2 P.C. Sutton, op. cit., p. 24.
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