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Research Method for the Map of 17th century Delft Artists & Patrons

In 2002 an article on the Genesis of this map has appeared in the magazine Visual Resources (December 2002). For an Internet version go to the Author section in the yellow bar above.

All names of artists on this list have been checked against contemporary seventeenth and eigthteenth century sources (both the Van Bleyswijck and Boitet books on Delft history) and other historical literature in the Delft Municipal Archives. In Dutch this fine institute is called Gemeente Archief Delft, short "GAD" whose Huizenprotocol files proved crucial (Huizen = Homes). Recent articles and monographs by Montias and other authors on various artists were also consulted. Finally, major art history handbooks (Saur, Thieme-Becker) and historical source material (by Obreen, Hofstede de Groot and the recently digitalized historical magazine De Nederlandsche Leeuw) provided information about artists, patrons and other contemporaries in the age of Vermeer. The full text of Obreen's section on the Guild books of Delft is is available now(see drtopdown list Artists). A few addresses in the series of collectors and dealers were researched with Marten-Jan Bok, whom I thank. In February 2000 researcher John Michael Montias graciously provided an additional list of names derived from his personal files. A pre-WW II treasure trove in the GAD was the Miss P. Beydals collection, a file system compiled by the archivist Beydals, consisting of handwritten notes (A-Z) on artists found during her archival work. Other invaluable filings are the Koopbrieven Huizeneigenaren (Documents of House Owners) and the Namen van Huizen (Names of Houses) Unpublished Bredius manuscripts in the RKD also proved invaluable.

Yet one finds oneself amongst these documents finding just a fraction of the entire body of painters on the Guild members list. Just realizing how many very good paintings were once produced in Delft and seeing how little has been handed down the ages - one is truly awed by the sheer scope and humbled by one's incomplete view and grasp of the art scene.

Having said that, I am still gradually collecting images of works of art by Delft artists. I would welcome receiving small jpg or gif images by e-mail, with background notes.

Spelling. The seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch language allowed for variety in spelling of names. In this list all streets are indicated with their current spelling (year 2001), but in some notes the original spelling is preserved.

Certainty. Artists or patrons could own one or more houses without actually living in it. This is obvious in the case of Willem van Vliet. There is however no doubt if the person was buried from the given address or the estate goods were listed at a given address following a death. Sometimes a number of consecutive archival documents also point at one single address.

Online archive. The Municipal Archives of Delft are alive and kicking on Internet with the full searchable presentation of Delft Baptism, Marriage & Death records. This excellent Dutch / English site provides full search capacity. The English language switch flag should be clicked. Then d not forget to tick the Births, Weddings and Deaths boxes before entering your query. <www.archief.delft.nl>

Go back to the Map Intro text.

Read excerpts by Philip L. Hale, a painter's perceptive writings on Vermeer's paintings.

More Delft fine art and pottery has been put online on www.gemeentemusea-delft.nl Enjoy!

This page forms part of a large encyclopedic site on Delft. Research by Drs. Kees Kaldenbach (email). A full presentation is on view at johannesvermeer.info.

Launched 16 February 2009; Last update March 1, 2017. More info in the RKD site.