Willem Reyersz de Langue (1599-1656), son of Reyer, became notary 1623-25, art collector, perhaps also art dealer. He often assisted Delft painters such as Van der Ast and Vermeer. Member of the Chamber of Thetoricians (Rederijkers)

As early as 1620 he is described as "the artful young man / den constrijcken jongman" and in his handwritten poetry album he describes his future wife Maria as a "spirit which is hungry for art".

On October 27, 1624 he first went to see drawings in the possession of David Beck (1594-1634) and on the second visit on November 3, he received David Beck to show his collection of paintings. Beck kept a detailed diary and reported on the first conversation: "mijne printen teijckeningen ende andere consten" and about the second "ter loop eens zijne schilderijkens ende ander fraeyigheyt". cited in Jeroen Blaak, Geletterde levens, Hilversum, 2004, p. 52-53. Beck's diary may be considered the finest down-to-earth one in seventeenth century Holland.

The double portrait above by Willem Willemsz van Vliet (c. 1584-1642 ) shows husband and wife.

De Langue is shown full size as Civic Guard Sergeant in a full figure double portrait by Jacob W. Delff II.

He lived at north side of Markt probably number 38 or 40, "midway between Krayen / Kruiers bridge and Oudemanhuis bridge". Friend of the Vermeer family and a great fine art connoisseur. Some of the sketches in the Bramer album (1642-1654) were made from paintings in his collection, see Van Vliet.

The Hague resident and diarist David Beck visited him, and often visited David's brother in Delft, discussing art life.

To the right is a 1655 leaflet which mentions various paintings for sale either individualy or as a whole without stating an exact date. Thus this leaflet is not a classical sale (veiling) poster.

We can also glimpse his inventory which was drawn up when one of his daughters died in 1691.

Note. Salomonson, White Banner, p. 43, note 106. For a discussion see Montias 1993, p. 81. Internet archives show he married Maria van Pijnacker in 1625. 'Friend of Vermeer family': see Montias 1993, p. 325, note 28. Connoisseur: Montias 1982, p. 236. Montias 1996 p. 9 gives birth year as 1602 in stead of 1599. Bramer: Plomp 1986, p. 81-82. Poetry and inventory mentioned by Jaap van der Veen in 'De Delftse kunstmarkt in de tijd van Vermeer" in De Hollandse Samenleving in de tijd van Vermeer, Zwolle/The Hague 1996, p. 132.

The diary written in 1624 by David Beck mentions a visit to de Langue. See David Beck, Spiegel van mijn leven, een Haags dagboek uit 1624. Ingeleid en van aantekeningen voorzien door Sv. E. veldhuijzen, Hilversum 1993. mentioned in Jeroen Blaak, Geletterde Levens, Hilversum, 2004.

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 2001; Source: Schatten in Delft, exh. cat. museum Prinsenhof, 2002, p. 157.

Last update 22 february, 2018.