List of people from the Dutch Golden Age

List of people from the Dutch Golden Age

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly equivalent to the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science and art were top ranking in the world.

The accompanying article about the Dutch Golden Age focuses on society, religion and culture. There are also articles about the Eighty Years' War (the Dutch revolt against Spain) and the Anglo-Dutch Wars. A concise broader picture is painted in History of the Netherlands.

People are listed here per category in order of year of birth.

Note: Many Dutchmen from this period had a middle name ending on szoon, which means son of. It is also commonly written as sz., for instance Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn.




The best known Dutch painters of the 17th century include:

  • Frans Hals (ca. 1583 – 1666) portraits, schutterstukken, regent groups, genre pieces (inns, figures)
  • Hendrick Avercamp (1585–1634) landscapes with snow
  • Hendrick Terbruggen (1588–1629) historical and biblical paintings
  • Willem Claeszoon Heda (1594–1680) still lifes
  • Jan van Goyen (1596–1656) landscapes
  • Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597–1665) church interiors, cityscapes
  • Salomon van Ruysdael (ca. 1600 – 1670) landscapes
  • Adriaen Brouwer (ca. 1605-1638) genre pieces (inns)
  • Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669) historical and biblical paintings, portraits, schutterstukken, regent groups, genre pieces (figures)
  • Jan Lievens (1607–1674) historical and biblical paintings, portraits
  • Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1684) genre scenes of peasant life
  • Willem van de Velde, the elder (ca. 1611 – 1693) seascapes
  • Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613–1670) portraits, schutterstukken, regent groups
  • Jan Both (1615–1652) Italian landscapes
  • Govert Flinck (1615–1660) historical and biblical paintings, portraits, schutterstukken
  • Ferdinand Bol (1616–1680) historical and biblical paintings
  • Emanuel de Witte (ca. 1617 – 1692) church interiors
  • Gerard Terborch (1617–1681) portraits, genre pieces (family scenes)
  • Philips Wouwermans (1619–1668) landscapes
  • Albert Cuyp (1620–1691) Italian and Dutch landscapes
  • Carel Fabritius (1622–1654) historical and biblical paintings, genre pieces (figures)
  • Paulus Potter (1625–1654) animals in landscapes
  • Jan Steen (1626–1679) genre pieces (inns, family scenes)
  • Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruysdael (ca. 1628-1682)
  • Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667) genre pieces (family scenes)
  • Pieter de Hooch (1629–1683) genre pieces (family scenes)
  • Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) cityscapes, genre pieces (family scenes)
  • Nicolaes Maes (1634–1693) portraits, genre pieces (family scenes, figures)
  • Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709) landscapes

For a more comprehensive listing, see the List of Dutch painters

Less famous painters from this period were


The most famous Dutch architects of the 17th century were

  • Lieven de Key (1560–1627), master builder of Haarlem. He still used a fair amount of ornamentation, built De Waag (1598), front of the Town Hall (1597), De Vleeshal (1602–1603), New Church tower (1613), all of which are in Haarlem
  • Hendrick de Keyser (1565–1621). He preferred a style that was much more sober than his contemporary Lieven de Key, built the Zuiderkerk (1606–1614), the Westerkerk (1620–1638) and the Exchange (1608–1611) in Amsterdam, Town Hall of Delft (1619), several canal houses in Amsterdam (see also section sculpture)
  • Jacob van Campen (1595–1657). He embraced classicism fully and served as an example for many colleagues, built the Mauritshuis in The Hague (1635), the Dam Palace in Amsterdam (1648–1655), which was originally the town hall, now a royal palace.

Less famous architects from this period were

  • Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527–1606), architect in Antwerp, used a lot of ornamentation
  • Arent van 's-Gravenzande (..-1662), built De Lakenhal (1639) and the Marekerk (1638–1640), both in Leiden, and the Oostkerk (1646) in Middelburg
  • Philip Vingboons (1607–1678), built many canal houses in Amsterdam in classicistic style
  • Pieter Post (1608-1669]]), built Huis ten Bosch in The Hague (1645-)
  • Adriaen Dortsman (1625-1682), built the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam
  • Elias Bouman (1636–1686), built the Portuguese-Israelitic Synagogue in Amsterdam (1671/1675)
  • Maurits Post (1645–1677), built Slot Amerongen (1676)


The most famous Dutch men of letters of the 17th century were

  • Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679), poet and playwright, who wrote more than 30 plays, many of those based on biblical stories. After The Gijsbrecht (see above) his best known drama is Lucifer (1654). He translated many French, Italian, Latin and Greek works. A recurring theme is man's inner conflicts, on the one hand rebellious, on the other hand pledging obedience to God.
  • Gerbrand Adriaensz. Bredero (1585–1618), poet (sonnets) and dramatist (comedies), his most famous comedy, De Spaanse Brabander (English: The Spanish Brabanter), describes the seamy side of life in Amsterdam
  • Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647), historian, poet and dramatist, who wrote Nederlandsche Historiën (English: Dutch History), which was never completed, but highly valued. His poetry was of high standard as well. He introduced French and Italian lyricism into Dutch poetry.
  • Jacob Cats (1577–1660), poet, famous for his moralistic writings. Houwelijck and Trouringh (English:Marriage and Wedding ring) are two major volumes to educate the Dutch about these serious affairs. Indeed his all too serious tone, lacking humour and esprit, made him a lesser writer than the three named above, and sometimes the object of mockery. His Kinderen zijn hinderen (English: Children are a nuisance) is still a Dutch saying, often followed by the remark that Cats probably had forgotten that he had been a child himself.

Less famous literary men from this period were

  • Roemer Visscher (1547–1620), writer of epigrams and emblemata
  • Karel van Mander (1548–1606), who wrote the Schilderboeck, a book about painting, and also several biographies about painters
  • Justus de Harduyn (1582–1636), poet from the southern Low Countries
  • Samuel Coster (1579–1665), good friend of Bredero, founder of the First Dutch Academy in 1617.
  • Jacob Revius (1586–1658), poet but worked also on the new bible translation known as the Statenbijbel that appeared in 1637 and is still in use today in some Protestant circles
  • Thomas Asseleyn (1620–1701), writer of comedies
  • Willem Godschalk van Focquenbroch (1640–1670), poet and playwright
  • Jan Luyken (1649–1712)


Dutch sculptors of the 17th century were

  • Hendrick de Keyser (1565–1621). De Keyser was also an architect (see above). He created the Mausoleum for William of Orange in the Nieuwe Kerk (English: New Church) in Delft (1614). All ruling descendants of Willem of Orange and their kin have been interred here to this date. De Keyser also created the statue of Erasmus in Rotterdam (1618)
  • Artus I Quellinus (1609–1668), Artus II Quellinus (his nephew) (1625–1700) and Rombout Verhulst (1625–1696), all sculpturists from the southern Low Countries, were most prominent among the sculpturists that decorated the townhall, now known as Dam Palace (1648–1655).


The most famous Dutch composers of the 17th century were

  • Jan P. Sweelinck (1562–1621) composer and organ player, major force in the development of 17th century organ music
  • Constantijn Huygens (1596–1687) more famous as a poet, member of the famous chamber of rhetoric De Muiderkring, composed some 800 pieces, most of which got lost, promoted use of the organ during church services

Less famous composers/musicians from this period were





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