Dutch Baroque Architecture

17 Jun
Louis Styles Amsterdam Town Hall (1646) Maastricht Town Hall (1658)
Huis ten Bosch Mauritshuis Het Loo
Dutch Baroque is a variety of Baroque architecture that flourished in the Dutch Republic and its colonies during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century.

Like contemporary developments in England, Dutch Palladianism is marked by sobriety and restraint. The architecture of the first republic in Northern Europe was meant to reflect democratic values by quoting extensively from classical antiquity. Two leading architects, Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post, used such eclectic elements as giant-order pilasters, gable roofs, central pediments, and vigorous steeples in a coherent combination that anticipated Wren’s Classicism.

The most ambitious constructions of the period included the seats of self-government in Amsterdam (1646) and Maastricht (1658), designed by Campen and Post, respectively. On the other hand, the residences of the House of Orange are closer to a typical burgher mansion than to a royal palace. Two of these, Huis ten Bosch and Mauritshuis, are symmetrical blocks with large windows, stripped of ostentatious Baroque flourishes and mannerisms. The same austerely geometrical effect is achieved without great cost or pretentious effects at the stadholder’s summer residence of Het Loo.

The Dutch Republic was one of the great powers of 17th-century Europe and its influence on European architecture was by no means negligible. Dutch architects were employed on important projects in Northern Germany, Scandinavia and Russia, disseminating their ideas in those countries. The Dutch colonial architecture, once flourishing in the Hudson River Valley and associated primarily with red-brick gabled houses, may still be seen in Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles.

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