DIRK JANSZ. VAN SANTEN
ILLUMINATED AND GILDED THE
PRESTIGIOUS PRINTED WORKS OF HIS TIME
IN AN EXCEPTIONALLY PAINTERLY AND
IN SO DOING HE MADE THE GOLDEN AGE
QUITE LITERALLY GOLDEN
(Amsterdam / Paulus Swaen Geldrop 1992 )
"Master colourist" Dirk Jansz van Santen
technique - Work identified as Van
Santen's - Contemporary references to Van
Santen's work in catalogues and advertisements
Old references to Van Santen's work -
Conclusion - Notes - - Maps coloured by van Santen available for sale
seventeenth century, the Netherlands held a prominent position in
Europe in the production of books, maps and prints.
Not only were the number, diversity and quality of printed works
renown, but also the "versiering" - the application of decorative
graphic elements in the colouring of maps, prints, title pages,
opening and closing vignettes, etc. Little is known about the many
print and map colourists, the 'const- en caertafzetters', who lived
in the Netherlands at the time. Three colourists are seen as the most important artists of that time:
Frans Koerten, David Reerigh, and Dirk Jansz. van Santen.
Since the work of a colourist was usually not signed, many have remained anonymous.
However he most important exception on this was Dirk Jansz. van Santen
to this rule is Dirk Jansz van Santen.
Atlases and books coloured by Van Santen figured among the
showpieces of the most prominent collections, such as that of the
Amsterdam burgomaster Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717) or of Laurens van
der Hem (1621-1678), a wealthy Amsterdam lawyer. Bibles and
atlases, bound in deluxe bindings by Albert Magnus (1642-1689) and
decorated by Van Santen were considered gifts worthy of princes.
Travelers and poets wrote about his work. There is a reference to
him in the travel account of Zacharias Konrad von Uffenbach,
Merkwürdige Reisen... (Ulm, 1750-54). Von Uffenbach was the
burgomaster of Frankfurt and an art collector who left a record of
his visit to Amsterdam in 1711 which makes it clear that collectors
competed with each other to obtain the best of what Van Santen had
is also found in an occasional poem which has recently come to
light, dating from 1694 and written by Anthony Jansen, the father
of the well-known poet Johannes Antonides van der Goes. It is
entitled De uitmuntende Boek en Kunstkamer van Joan Bus
(4). Unknown today, the collector Joannes Bus was the proud
possessor of works by Van Santen, whose work is the subject of a
long passage in the poem:
Wie derft van Zanten, in het mengen van de kleuren,
Gelijk staan, als hy die ten sterren op ziet beuren,
Zoo heerlijk gloeiende op het vlak papiereveld,
Gelijk die fakkels aan de luchtstreek zijn gesteld.
Uw Bibel, Karousel en Atlas goude straalen,
En Zinnebeelden, staan wilvaardig optehaalen,
Hoe 't slijtende geduld, in arbeid onvermoeit,
Al werkende, noch in van Zanten daaglijks groeit.
The colours, the gold, the patience and industriousness of Van
Santen were obviously of great renown at the end of the 17th
century. Recently, H. de la Fontaine Verwey started to retrieve Van
Santen's work. (5). In locating a number of atlases, Bibles and
illustrated books coloured by Van Santen, he has laid the basis for
further research. What follows is a summary of the current state of
research on Van Santen's life and work, supplemented with new
information and a description of his work method.
Jansz van Santen was born in 1636/37 in Amsterdam. He was a
son of Jan Jansz van Santen who is known to have been a member of
the booksellers' guild as of April 29, 1651. Publications of
Jan Jansz are known from the period 1656 to 1661'. In 1653
Jan Jansz bought a house on Oudezijds Kerkhof (now Oudekerksplein
54) for f 4,000. In other words, he was doing rather
known about Dirck Jansz's youth and education. It is possible
that he travelled. This is suggested by the comment in
reference works that in addition to working in Amsterdam, he was
'apparently' in Paris. Another indication is the relatively
long period of time during which there are no personal
records'. The striking deluxe volumes of plates in the
'Cabinet du Roy' series printed by the Imprimerie Royale in Paris,
the Carrousel and the Tapisseries du Roy for example,
which were frequently coloured by Van Santen also suggest a
connection with France.(8) These books in large folio format
with Louis' magnificent entourage spread out across them, were
intended as a present and not for public sale. Nonetheless,
individual copies did find their way to auctions and were coveted
collector's items. Noteworthy in connection with this is an
item in the collection of Goswin van Uylenbroek of Amsterdam.
He acquired a large share of the 'Cabinet du Roy' including a Latin
edition of the Carrousel (1670). In the auction
catalogues (1729, 1741) it is called an 'Exemplar Regium', an
addition not found in the description of the other volumes.
This 'Royal Copy' was coloured with gold, silver and other valuable
colours by Dirk Jansz Van Santen. According to the catalogues
he worked more than a whole year on it. Could he have done so
on commission for Louis XIV? (9)
January 6, 1675 do we find any reference in the Amsterdam archives
to Van Santen as a map colourist. At that date, 'Dirck Jansen
van Santen, kaartofsetter oudt 37 Jaren after de oude kerk', at an age of 37, he
became engaged to Janneke Martens, a woman eight
years his junior from Nijmegen. He was living at the time
'behind the old church', that is to say at the same address as his
father, as was his betrothed (10).
time Van Santen had probably been in Laurens van der Hem's employ
for some years. That wealthy collector died in 1678.
According to Uffenbach, Van Santen worked for Van der Hem '...viele
Jahre lang vor sich allein in seinem Hause......(11). In addition to his extensive library, Van der
Hem owned a famous atlas, based on the eleven-volume Atlas
Maior by Blaeu (1662) and enlarged to 46 regular and 4
supplement volumes, totalling more than 2,000 maps, prints and
drawings. It has been preserved until today. This atlas was
one of the important attractions of Amsterdam, partly because of
Van Santen's decoration. Among the eminent foreign visitors
who came to look at it were the Medicis, the grand dukes of
Tuscany. They offered f 30,000 an enormous sum at the
time, for the bound portion of the Atlas (33 volumes), but
to no avail (13). Such a sum does
not reflect Van Santen's income, we should note; it is unlikely
that he earned much more than a normal craftsman (14).
Van Santen worked for Van der Hem is not clear. It is
possible that after Van der Hem's death in 1678 he worked for the
widow, who died in 1697, and then for their daughter Agaath (died
no documentation on how Van Santen organized his work after his
period with Van der Hem. The most likely hypothesis is that
he ran a print shop himself and sold his coloured maps and prints
directly. His membership in the Amsterdam Sint Lucas guild,
in which he is mentioned in 1688, also points in this
At the same lime, Van Santen may have had a
regular working arrangement with one or more publishers/booksellers
for whom he did the colouring of illustrated books. This is
suggested in the research undertaken by W.K. Gnirrep into the
possible connection between Van Santen and the writer/publisher
Willem Goeree (1635-1711) (16).
Gnirrep did not find any concrete evidence for the Goeree-Van
Santen link, but his research did reveal that between about 1683
and 1690 Van Santen illuminated folio Bibles with the help of model
prints. Using model prints, he could produce identically
coloured prints at different times, if that was what a publisher
asked (17). It is also possible that
in addition to Goeree, the map publisher Johan van Keulen was a
regular customer of Van Santen. Van Keulen purchased a large
share of Blaeu's material after the latter's death. When Van
Keulen died in 1689 there was an item among the outstanding debts
to a certain Dirk Jansse of f 30 (18). Was this Van Santen?
It is not
inconceivable that after his employ with Van der Hem, either
directly thereafter or at a later stage, Van Santen not only had
his own print shop or a regular relationship with one or more
publishers, but that he also worked privately for an Amsterdam
collector. Those who seem most likely as employers are Willem
van Beest and Jacob Cromhout because of their large collection of
According to the advertisement for the auction
of his library (Amsterdamse Courant, March 3, 1714), Willem van
Beest owned dozens of books and prints illuminated by Van Santen
(19). At the end of his life, round
1709, Jacob Cromhout could count at least 32 atlas volumes and map
books coloured by Van Santen (found in 13 catalogue numbers), most
of which were in folio format (20).
Research on Van Santen collectors such as Cromhout and Van Beest
might reveal more information about the colourist.
In 1684 we find reference to Van Santen in the notarial archives of
Amsterdam. In 1684 he was feeling ill enough ('sieckelijck')
then to have a will drawn up for himself and his wife; on November
27, 1684 they appeared before the notary Pelgrom Blok (21). Their only son, Jan, baptized on August
22, 1683 was named sole beneficiary with the exception of the
Orphans' court. On December 12, 1687 a daughter was
baptized. On November 11, 1688 a child was buried; the name
of the child is not given, however. Since no further
references to the son Jan Dircks are found, it is possible that he
was the child who died.
other information about Dirck Jansz van Santen is that he died on
May 23, 1708, well over the age of 70, and that he was buried in
the Leidse Kerkhof in Amsterdam. This we know from an invitation to
his funeral found in a large folio Bible of 1682. Unquestionably
this Bible has been illuminated by the deceased himself
(22). On the funeral invitation, Van
Santen is called a 'Master Colourist' (Meester Afsetter), a title
which is not frequently used in connection with this
profession. His art had brought him renown and fame but not
wealth; the tax office declared him to be without means.
approaching the age of 80, his widow sold the house on
Oudekerksplein for f 3,000 perhaps to go to an old people's
home. The official sale took place on March 17. It has
not been pointed out until now that an anonymous auction more than
three months earlier (November 16, 1723) may have a connection with
Jannetje and her move to a smaller dwelling. Among the things
offered for sale were 'veel rare en konstig afgezette Kaerten' by
Van Santen, 'eenige Modelle' - model books or prints - , 'eenige
Schilders gereedschappen en een schoone Vryfsteen'. Jannetje
Martens seems the most obvious person to have had possession of Van
Santen's work materials, such as his grinding stone and model books
Unfortunately, catalogues from this auction have not been found as
Jannetje Martens outlived her husband by 21 years. She was
buried on October 6, 1729 in the Leidse Kerkhof, having lived on
Keizersgracht between Molenpad and Runstraat. She was also
declared insolvent, by Jacobus Flier (born in 1703 as Jacob
Thielmans Flier). According to the burial register of the
Orphans' court she left behind a minor grandchild. Any other
descendants, the son or daughter, had presumably died. The
trail of Van Santen's descendents stops here, at least as far as we
know at the present. It may possibly be sought in the
catalogue of the 1723 auction, which still remains to be found, and
in the Bible which contained Van Santen's funeral invitation (and
in which the personal details of other families such as the
Veenings and Clockeners are also included written in or bound along
with the Bible).
Van Santen's technique
aldersehoonste afgeschildert..,' 'sindelyk en raer afgeschildert',
'met onvermoeyelijcken arbeyt en grote kosten op 't aldersehoonste
Santen's contemporaries exhausted themselves in praise for his
work. What made Van Santen's colouring so distinctive?
His use of colour was much freeer than that of other colourists.
The tone of the colours was made to complement the gold he used so
lavishly. In his best work two other costly pigments,
ultramarine and carmine are found in large amounts, mostly set
against gold. Ultramarine and gold were a very popular colour
combination in the seventeenth century.
Van Santen combined the colours in a somewhat impressionistic,
vivid manner. He avoided monotonous, monochromatic, dull
surfaces and lines. Characteristic of his style is a
variation of colour, also of borders and edging for both maps and
Moreover, he added elements to the design, such as patterns and
flower motifs to the clothing of figures, veining of stones or map
frontier lines. He gave the frontier lines a decorative
treatment in the map as a whole by means of placement and by
colour. He would use two or three striking colours next to
each other, e.g. red, yellow and light green, sometimes accentuated
by a fine golden line. Van Santen applied transparent and
opaque colours at the same time in both mixed and pure tints.
He often painted the whole surface of the map or illustration,
transforming the graphic light and dark into colour. To dark
areas representing shadows, clothing pleats or the
'repoussoir', the foreground of a landscape, he applied his
characteristic shiny varnish; this had the effect of brightening
the dark colour.
devoted a great deal of attention to skies and horizons, frequently
making use of the same colour progression. This entailed a
blue sky with a great deal of opaque white, moving to pink with
opaque white, and then to very light yellow with light green
elements, finally to the mountain tops which in the distance are
blue with a bit of pink-shaded white. For the light and dark
effects of the ground he used browns, greens and the white of the
paper, either heavy or transparent colours depending on the
engraving. Less and less white is mixed with the colours as
the foreground comes closer, and shadows in the foreground are
treated with a heavy varnish.
prints and maps were normally cut out along the engraved border and
pasted very precisely on paper of the same format as the book they
were to accompany (Bible, atlas). By using a golden or yellow
inside border and a red outside border along pencil lines next to
the cutting edge (often a brightly coloured and gilded border scale
of longitude and latitude) he obtained a decorative transition
between print and underlying paper that was hardly visible.
During his best period, Van Santen was very careful and exact in
this; less fastidious borders in which the colours run outside the
pencil line are not unknown, however, particularly in his later
things Van Santen distinguished himself from his contemporaries in
his lavish use of gold which he applied meticulously. On maps he
applied gold not only to the decorative motifs, the legends,
cartouches and coats-of-arms, but he also worked it decoratively
into the map itself. He used gold for the dots representing
cities; he sometimes used gold for the names of regions; and
occasionally he added gold lines to the frontiers of countries or
to the outlines of islands. He did not hesitate to introduce
his own inventions, that is to say elements which were not on the
engraving, such as gold stars and clothing motifs. Not only were
the prints and maps gilded but frequently also the table of
contents, printed decorative borders or floral ornaments, title
pages, initials, opening and closing vignettes, etc.
The fact that Van Santen's use of gold made his work very desirable
to his contemporaries is evident in the travel report Uffenbach
made of his visit to see the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem in 1711
It also explains something of Van Santen's
contribution to such a prestigious project. We quote a portion of
'Den 9 Mart Morgens gingen wir zur Jungfer van der Hemm, um
'schönen illuminirten Blauischen Atlas zu sehen, davor der Comte
'd'Avaux zwanzig tausend Gulden geboten, sie aber solchen vor
'fünftzig tausend hielte. Wir cönnten nicht begreiffen, wie
'Blauischen Atlas so viel kosten solle; dan ob er gleich über und
'mit goldfarbe (oder wie die Holländer sagen, met goudt en
'ultremaryn) überzogen wäre, könnte er doch so viel nicht
'ich glaube, das man in ganz holland nicht vor 10.000 gulden
'muscheln mit Goldfarbe bekommen solte. Als sie uns aber
'Atlas zeigte, begriffen wir gar bald, woher er so kostbar sey,
'nun kan ihn eigentlich keinen Blauischen, sonder man muss ihn
'recht königlichen Atlanten nennen. Dann da jener ohne die
'Stadtbücher nur aus ellf Voluminibus bestehet, so ist dieser in
'und vierzig Banden, jeder hand dick, da dann die Charten und
'Beschreibungen von Blaeu lange nicht die helfte ausmachen,
'es sind von einen Blauische Volumine wohl 2 his 3 gemacht, und
'überall viele mit Feder und hand gezeichnete Charten und andere
'Risse hinzu gefügt. Es sind auch mit den Feder
'beschreibungen dabey. Ja es sind ganze Volumina, alles mit
'gerissen und beschricben dabey, alle ungemein schön und
'(... ) Zweytens waren inwendig nicht allein die Titelblätter auf
'schönste illuminirt, und zum Theil aus eigener Erfindung sauber
'gemahlt, sondern auch die grossen und Initial-Buchstaben alle
'verguldet. Um die Schrift aber waren die margines mit
'Zierrathen bemahlt. Die gedruckten Landcharten waren alle auf
'zierlichste illuminirt, von dem in dem illurniniren
'Meister Dirck Janssen van Santen, so nunmehro tot isst.
'Diesen Mann hat herr van der Hemm viele Jahre lang vor sich
'in seinem hause arbeiten lassen, und ihm das Geld und Farben
'angeschafft, damit nichts daran gespahrt werden möge. (... )
'war die Beschreibung sehr sauber dazu gemacht und geschrieben.
'Fünftens waren sonderliche Theile hinzugefügt, in sich haltend
'allerhand Ordnungen, Instructionen und dergleichen, die
'handlung und andere Dingen in Indien betreffend. Damit sie
'gleichem Format waren, so sind die margines abgeschnitten, und
'sauber auf grosse Format-Bogen geklebt, und mit allerhand
'wie die andern Blättem versehen [d.J.D.v.S.]. (...).
also looked at a number of illuminated manuscripts at Agaath van
der Hem's and made some interesting observations about the type of
gold that was used in his time. He especially praised a
breviary in quarto format. It included many illuminated
illustrations that were much more beautiful than those from the
Middle Ages ('viel besser als sie sonst die Mönche gemacht haben')
and made use of a great deal of gold, 'aber kein geschlagen,
sondern Muschel Gold, daraus man, wie auch sonst aus der Schrift,
schliessen kan, dass er ganz neu sey.'
Whether this breviary was decorated by Van Santen is not
immediately clear from the catalogues which have been
It is interesting to note that in Van Santen's time the use of gold
leaf, which had to be cut and pasted, was considered old
fashioned. Van Santen may not have used gold leaf, but what
Uffenbach calls 'Muschel Gold', 'shell gold' as it was called in
the seventeenth century. The name refers to the practice of
storing the gold pigments in a shell. Much of this was
imitation gold, made from copper, tin, and the like, but the finest
quality was made from finely ground gold leaf.
was available in small booklets of approximately 5 x 5 centimetres
containing a number of very thin sheets of gold. A 17th
century method of making shell gold from gold leaf was to grind it
on a rubbing stone along with honey, water and salt and then to
wash it in very clean water. The small amount of liquid gold
was then placed in a shell and vinegar was added to it. The
vinegar assured a good consistency'.
to say, this high quality shell gold was very expensive and must
have been paid for by the customers of large, prestigious projects,
as in the case of Van der Hem. Seventeenth century instructions for
applying gold to paper have been preserved and give an indication
of the complexity of this treatment. In all likelihood, Van
Santen had developed his own method for applying gold to
As far as one can tell with the naked eye, he first put on a yellow
base before using a brush to apply the gold. Scientific tests
might make it possible to determine more about Van Santen's
characteristic use of material, particularly about his use of
gold. This could make it easier to identify his
The question remains of when and to what extent Van Santen used a
particular method, technique or type of materials during his forty
year career. The fact that his work was not always of the
same quality seems to be indicated by Agaath van der Hem's remark
that her copy of the Courses de Testes et de Bague (the
Carrousel ) was one of the best copies Van Santen had ever
made. Goswin van Uilenbroek thought that his 'Royal Copy' of
the Carrousel had more right to this title. Uffenbach
ultimately cast his vote for Agaath van der Hem's
Verwey is of the opinion that Van Santen coloured atlases in three
different ways: colouring without gold; gold just for the legends,
cartouches, coats of-arms and decorative motifs of a map; and gold
on the maps themselves, for frontiers, cities, etc.'. Based on
this, it would seem obvious that Van Santen used the first and
second methods mostly in the beginning of his career when he, as
one of many colourists, had to make use of his own, doubtlessly
meager, supply of gold. This would offer a possible
explanation for the fact that little gold was used for Nicolaas
Witsen's Blaeu atlas, which must have been decorated about
1665. In the seventies and later Van Santen used a great deal
of gold, as we see in the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Ham and in the
four Bibles listed below'.
example of Van Santen's work during the last days of his life may
be found in Van Loon's Nieuwe Zee-Atlas dated 1706 and
currently located in the Municipal Archives of Haarlem'.
Almost everywhere the colouring goes beyond the borders of the
illustrations (in contrast to the period in which the Bibles were
coloured, about 1680-1690) as do the gold decorations. In
each case, the dots for the cities are found next to the circle
place designations instead of in the middle of them. There is
still a liberal and lavish use of colour, but sometimes small areas
have been painted thickly so that they have lost their
clarity. The colours are somewhat coarser and harsher but
still with effective accents. The whole surface is no longer
painted and large areas of the paper are left blank.
Work identified as
atlases, maps, books and prints did Van Santen colour? The
answer to this question is complicated by the fact that Van Santen,
just as all other graphic colourists, did not sign his work.
Consequently, it is difficult to offer incontestable proof of the
authenticity of his work.
Identification is made in the first place on the basis of
contemporary information, supported by stylistic
characteristics. Fontaine Verwey carried out pioneering work
in this area, followed by W.K. Gnirrep (31). As a result, a number of atlases, Bibles
and illustrated books has been ascribed to Van Santen with a great
amount of certainty. This offers a foundation for further
which are accepted to be Van Santen's or may attributed to him are
Van Santen's greatest achievement, the above-mentioned fifty-volume
Atlas Blaeu Van der Hem has been preserved in its entirety,
especially due to the fact that Van der Hem's descendants were only
willing to sell it as a set. Van Santen illuminated all the
prints in this atlas and fit them to the large folio format of the
Atlas by means of cutting, pasting, folding and
painting. The materials, the gold and pigments, were paid for
by Van der Hem. Van Santen worked on this Atlas in the
seventies or thereabouts, a fact which was recorded by Uffenbach
and by an auction catalogue of November 20, 1730 (Moetjens, The
At the time of Uffenbach's visit in 1711, he found only 43 volumes,
33 of which were bound. It may be assumed that Van Santen was
responsible for the decoration of these bound volumes. He may
have coloured the prints from the other seven volumes as
well. After Van der Hem's death (1678) and that of his widow
(1697), the Atlas belonged to their daughter Agaath.
She remained actively involved in its presentation, design and
perhaps even completion until her death in 1712. In the front
of volume five there is a signed and coloured coat-of-arms from her
hand; it bears a swan, the emblem of the Van der Hem family, and is
dated July 17, 1676 (32). The Van
der Hem family sold the Atlas in 1730 for f 22,000 to Prince
Eugenius of Savoy; at that time it consisted of 46 volumes and four
supplements'. After Eugenius' death, his library was
purchased by Kaiser Karl VI in 1737 and moved to the Hofbibliothek
in Vienna, now known as the Nationalbibliothek, where the
Atlas is still now-a-days. The atlas may no longer be examined but a
facsimile is in print.
Lambert Hortensius, Van den Oproer der Wederdooperen.
Enkhuizen 1624, and C.van Sichem, Histoilsche Beschrijvinge
ende Afbeeldinge der voornaamste Hooftketteren ( .. ), waarbij
gevoegd zijn de groote portretten van Jan van Leyden en
B.Knipperdollingh, naar Goltzius, benevens de portretten van
F.Socinus, J.Slichting en Jde Labadie.
addition to the grand Atlas, Laurens van der Hem possessed a
large collection of books and prints, the greater part of which
went under the hammer in 1684 (35).
More than 20 items, almost all of them deluxe volumes of plates,
were announced as having Van Santen's 'seer raer en ongemeen braef'
paintwork! So far, only one of these items in the auction
catalogue has been found; it was described as 'De Naeckt-loopers en
hooft ketteren van Nederlandt en t'Amsterdam/ konstigh
afgeschildert door Dirck Jansz-van Santen' (Hem 1684, IY. 66, no.
22). A copy which fits this description is found in the
University Library of Amsterdam and was ascribed to Van Santen by
Fontaine Verwey even before the Van der Hem catalogue was found;
one of the reasons for this was an inscription on page Aij verso,
next to the coloured final vignette of the dedication which reads
'afghezet door D. Jansz van Santen N.I.'. According to an 1828
catalogue description there were two such volumes, containing a
combination of two older books and some separate portrait
engravings, coloured by Van Santen (36). The illumination is exceptionally
lavish. A great deal of ultramarine, carmine, vermillion and
gold was used for the portraits in large, opaque surfaces,
sometimes heavily varnished. In the first book Van Santen
coloured and gilded the title page, the legends above the two
dedications, the initials, the fleurons and nine engravings
portraying the fortunes of the Anabaptists. In the second he
coloured the printer's borders and all of the
The Atlas van Hadrianus Relandus, Meermanno-Westreenianum
Museum, The Hague.
19-volume atlas in large folio format was purchased by Gerard
Meerman in 1761 from the Relandus family. It contains Blaeu's
ll-volume Atlas Maior as well as his seven
Stedeboeken (five Italian and two Dutch, all in a Latin
edition) and the 1676 Dutch Zee-atlas ofte
water-wereld by Pieter Goos. In a note which has been
preserved, Meerman wrote that the atlas was purchased from the
Blaeu's for f 2,000 as a present for the orientalist
Hadrianus Relandus. According to Meerman, the value of the
atlas was to a great extent due to the 'artifex eximius Theodorus
van Santen'. Van Santen illuminated this large atlas
exceptionally carefully and lavishly. He worked on every
sheet, using gold on the maps, the title prints, printed titles,
initials, coats-of-arms, etc. The colours were for the
greater part applied transparently (38).
Hendrick Laurensz Spiegel, Hertspieghel, Wetstein, Amsterdam
note on the end leaf says that this copy belonged to the estate of
Willem van Beest and has coloured plates by 'Dirck Jansz van
Zanten'. Willem van Beest was a great Van Santen collector,
as is clear from the advertisement for the auction of his estate
(Amsterdamse Courant, March 3, 1714). In the Hertspieghel,
Van Santen coloured the engraved title page, the title print,
the portrait of Hendrik Spiegel, two large fold-out prints,
including the Tabula Cebetis and eight emblematic
illustrations accompanying the 'Verderfs-traps beeldschrift"'.
Bijbel, dat is de gansche Schrifture..., J. and H. Keur, Dordrecht, M. Doomick, Amsterdam,
'Staten Bijbel' (the authorized Dutch version) in large folio
format is found in the University Library of Amsterdam. It
has Van Santen's funeral invitation pasted in on the first end
leaf. It contains six maps engraved by Bastiaen Stoopendaal
after Danckerts. In addition, numerous prints and maps have
been inserted into this copy, all of them indisputably coloured and
gilded by Van Santen'. In addition to lavishly illuminating
the maps and prints using gold for the cartouches, embellishments,
frontiers of countries, cities, islands, etc., he also gilded the
legends of the explanatory text on the back and the opening
initials and closing vignettes. Given the dating of the
prints, the Bible must have been put together and bound after 1690,
which suggests that Van Santen carried out his colouring work at
about the same time".
Bijbel, dai is de gatuche Schrifture ....
J. and H. Keur, Dordrecht, M. Doornick, Amsterdam, 1682.
large Kcur Bible, which is found in the library of the Koninklijk
Oudheidkundig Genootschap (KOG) in Amsterdam also contains a great
number of inserted and richly illuminated prints and maps.
Some are identical to the above-mentioned Bible. The KOG Keur
Bible must have been put together and bound in 1683, as W.K.
Gnirrep demonstrated, which indicates that Van Santen must have
been working on it at about the same time. Since the related
prints in the two Bibles are almost identically coloured, despite a
time difference of seven years, we conclude that Van Santen must
have made use of model prints'.
Bijbel ( .. ), Elzevier, Leiden, 1663, 2
volumes (Old and New Testaments) bound by Albert Magnus.
'Staten Bible' in large folio format (University Library of
Amsterdam) there are a number of inserted prints coloured almost
identically to those in the KOG Bible. This establishes that
Van Santen was the author as well as the fact that model prints
must have been used'.
Bijbel, dat is de gansche Schrifture ....
J. and H. Kcur, M. Doornick, Dordrecht/Amsterdam, 1686.
Bible, housed in the University Library of Leiden is the most
lavish of the four Van Santen Bibles known today. This holds
not only for the number of inserted prints and maps but also for
the colouring. In addition to the prints, all of the initials
and vignettes are coloured, which in the other Bibles was true for
only some of them (44). The more
than twenty prints which this Bible has in common with at least one
of the other Bibles have been coloured following the same
Joannes van Loon, Nieuwe Zee Atlas, Van Waesbergen,
edition of Van Loon's Klaer Lichtende Noort-star ofte
Zee-wlas appeared in 1661. This late and greatly
augmented edition of the Zee Atlas is preserved in the
Municipal archives of Haarlem and contains fifty maps.
Inserted but not included in the binding is a 28-page printed
description of the atlas with an engraved title print by P. Medina
and E. Wright. In the empty cartouche we find written in
black and gold calligraphic letters 'Nieuwe Zee Atlas.
Afgezet door Dirk Jansz. van Zanden 1706' (45). Van Loon's Zee Atlas from Haarlem
is the latest known work to have been coloured by Van Santen; in
1706 he was 69 years old. His age explains a number of
stylistic differences with the above-mentioned works. The
colouring is less fastidious and fine, the use of gold less
precise. In contrast to the Bible maps, the gold dots
representing the cities are hardly ever in the centre of the
De Grooten Atlas by Blaeuw along with the
two Dutch Stedeboeken, Amsterdam, 1664/1665. (The atlas of
an ll-volume Blaeu atlas found in the University Library of
Amsterdam (UBA) in a cabinet from about 1665'. Fontaine
Verwey presumes that it belonged to Nicolaas Witsen
(1629-1717). It is found in Witsen's auction catalogue of
1728 described as 'een Kabinet met een Atlas van Blaeu, 9 deelen,
benevens 2 Steedeboeken, door D.S. van Santen, curieus afgeset' (p.
15). Its composition corresponds to that of the atlas in the
UBA. However, unlike all other known Van Santens, it has
almost no gold aside from the title prints. If the atlas in
the UBA is the same as that listed in Witsen's catalogue, the
colouring probably dates from the beginning of Van Santen's career
(approx. 1665) when he would have used less gold for financial
Atlas Minor, composite atlas in large
folio format from the beginning of the 18th century.
Antiquariat Paulus Swaen has sold in the past a handsomely
coloured and gilded Atlas Minor. This composite atlas
is in large folio format from the beginning of the 18th
century. The atlas contains a title print by Romeyn de
Hooghe, hand written index with 128 titles, 80 maps, and 2 plans by Joan Blaeu,
N. Visscher, Frederick de Wit and Carolus Allard among others, and
one portrait. 44 Prints, many of them probably by Romeyn de Hooghe,
have been removed. On several grounds it may be assumed that
the illumination is by Van Santen. The maps are lavishly
coloured using gold and silver for the cartouches and further
embellishment, the country frontiers, cities, islands, names of
regions, etc. The style is comparable to that of Van Loon's
Zee Atlas in Haarlem, but makes greater use of
colour, gold and silver. All 128 titles in the index, for
example, are written in gold letters, combined with black
ink. The borders around the maps are frequently triple and
include a scale of longitude and latitude; the variation in tone
and colour from red and blue-green alternating with gold yields a
lively effect. The figures around the cartouches are painted
in a somewhat impressionistic way that is characteristic of Van
Santen, with many contrasts, the colours set against each other
very effectively. Varnish is used for the dark shadow areas
to highlight the colours. Small gold lines which diverge from
the engraved line are added to the frontiers. Gold dots
indicating the cities are not very accurately placed in the
engraved circles. The coloured borders of the map have not
been applied all that carefully. Such imprecisions are also
found in the Van Loon Zee Atlas from 1706.
has an allegorical title print by Romeyn de Hooghe which was
originally used in Jaillot's Atlas François of 1696 (47).
This title which was included in the lower cartouche disappeared,
however, under a brown layer of paint. It was not unusual for
Van Santen to cover up titles with paint to make it possible to use
the print for something else". The address of Covens and
Mortier has been erased from the plate.
maintained title, originally Atlas Novus( .. ), has been
changed to Atlas Minor ( .. ). An Atlas Minor
coloured by Van Santen is found in contemporary sources. In
the auction advertisement of the above-mentioned collection of
Willem van Beest (Amsterdamse Courant March 3, 1714) there is a
reference to 'een Atlas Minor,' '(... ) ongemeen konstig en met
goud doorwrogt afgezet van den vermaerden Dirk Jansz van
Zanten"'. It is possible that these copies are one and the
The atlas was sold at the time to a US dealer and was, sadly, then broken up
Contemporary references to Van
Santen's work in catalogues and advertisements
catalogues are important sources for reconstructing Van Santen's
work. As a result of Van Santen's great. renown his name was
regularly mentioned in the catalogues of book and 'papierkonst'
sales; this was not the case for his fellow colourists. The
earliest reference is from 1684, when the Van der Hem library was
auctioned off. The descriptions in catalogues offer the best
source for tracking down Van Santen's customers and collectors and
for gaining a general picture of his activities. There are
not always catalogues available, however, of the many sales of
estates, art and book collections in the 17th and 18th centuries,
either because they were never made or have been lost. An
important addition to the auction catalogues are the advertisements
in newspapers of these auctions. The presence of Van Santen's
work round 1700 was an indication of the quality of the sale in
question, so that, in contrast to his fellow colourists, his name
and work were often used even in the small newspaper
Santen's work has been found in libraries and print collections of
the following collectors: Comelis Nicolal (Amsterdam 1698), Hendrik
van Beest (Amsterdam 1704), the famous binder Albert Magnus
(Amsterdam 1707), Jacob Cromhout (Amsterdam 1709), Dirk van der
Hagen (Amsterdam 1710), H.A. van der Marck (The Hague 1712), Willem
van Beest (Amsterdam 1714), Petrus Deynoot (Rotterdam 1728), Goswin
Uilenbroek (Amsterdam 1729 and 1741), Isaac Clockener (Amsterdam
1758), Valerius Röver (ms., Delft ca. 1740) and Jan de Kommer
(Amsterdam 1767), aside from the already-mentioned collections of
Nicolaas Witsen (Amsterdam 1728), Laurens Van der Hem (Amsterdam
1684, The Hague 1730) and Joan Bus. In 1718, 1720, 1723 and
1740 Van Santen's work was used to advertise four anonymous
A look at
the catalogues makes clear that the owners of work coloured by Van
Santen were for the most part well-to-do collectors of books,
prints and frequently also of paintings. In most cases their
collections included more than one work by Van Santen.
were often the heart of a collection, particularly the multi-volume
atlases by Blaeu, frequently accompanied by 'toevoegselen' that is
with other maps and prints or additions from other atlases.
Not only in the Van der Hem collection was the Blaeu atlas
decorated by Van Santen the showpiece of the collection, but also
in those of Magnus, Cromhout, Witsen and Van der Hagen. Other
atlases coloured by Van Santen were also in circulation; these
included the atlases of Janssonius, Cellarius, Sanson and Goos. Van
Santen must have also coloured and sold individual prints and
maps. Apart from the individual maps offered at the anonymous
auction in March 1723 this is shown for example in an advertisment
of 1758, mentioning 'een weergalooze collectie van gebonden en
losse Prentwerken, waar van eenige in vergulde lysten, synde het
grootste getal afgezet door den vermaarden D.J. van Zanten'
belonging to Isaac Clockener.
descriptions in the catalogues underline the opulent character of
Van Santen's work. The lavish use of gold and costly colours
such as ultramarine and carmine which made Van Santen's work renown
was apparently not normal practice in illumination. Probably
the purchase of such materials was too costly.
Old references to Van Santen's
a survey of the references to Van Santen's cartographic work in old
collections known to date (1992), accompanied by extensive
quotations. This is followed by a list of other titles which
have been found. Some of the atlases named have been
preserved but most of them have not yet been identified or have
been lost. Since the research into Van Santen's work is only
in a beginning stage, the chance is great that a number of other
works will come to light.
fifty-volume Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem which we discussed
above under 'Work identified as Van Santen's', the first set of
works which must be mentioned are those belonging to the Amsterdam
collector Jacob Cromhout. He seems to have wanted to equal
Van der Hem's collection both in quantity and in quality. In
addition to a collection of more than 200 paintings, he had an
exceptional collection of atlases and map books, a large portion of
which had been illuminated by Van Santen. For the auction of
his collection (dated April 19, 1709), a special appendix to the
catalogue was printed for the atlas collection. This
Catalogus van Atlassen, Stede-boeken, Boeken met kaarten,
ppinten en figuren.... has never been examined in connection
with Van Santen.
In the middle of the many 'curieus' coloured works there are no
fewer than thirteen items which mention Van Santen.
The foremost entry (no. 1) is an 18-volume Blaeu atlas-factice, an
'uitstekende Atlas, van Blaeu, Nederduits / in 18
stucken,. behelsende behalven de ordinaris Atlas-kaerten / noch
daer en boven de meeste aldernieuwste kaerten / en veel
treffelyke konst-printen, bestaende in alderhande
Verbeeldingen / van Personagien / kryg- en Staetsbedryven en
gesichten van Plaetsen: in 18 Banden groot Atlas Papier /
seer uitstekent kostelyk gebonden / en over heerlyk met Gout
/ karmyn en Ultramaryn afgeset / door Dirk Jansz.van Santen,
daer van geen weerga is'.
Furthermore, there were 'door den zelfden van Zanten
kostelyk afgeset' a 'Fransche Atlas van Sanson, 2 voll.'(2),
and a 'Neptune François of Zee-Atlas van Sanson'(3), both
'met seer veel byvoegselen' and bound in red leather; the
'Atlas Coelestis of Harmonia Macrocosmia Cellarii'(4); 'the
Atlas of oude Wereldbeschryvinge van Janssonius (5); the
Waterwereld of Zee-Atlas van Janssoniu.s' (6); the
'Waterwereld of groote Zee-Atlas van Goos, 2 stukken' (7);
the 'Atlas of nieuwe Zee-spiegel' van Goos (8); and five
prints 'Atlas wyze gebonde', including once again the
Caroussel of Louis XIV (18), and 'Oxonia Illustrata',
a description of Oxford accompanied by prints.
Volumes of plates bound like an atlas such as these, often
accompanied rnulti-volumed atlases as illustrations.
der Hagen, about whom nothing is known outside of references to him
in the advertisements, had a collection which was auctioned off and
included a vierdelige Blaeu-atlas, 'ongemeen konstig met
goud &c overschildert van D. Jansz. van Zanten, nooit so gesien
(... )'. In addition, Van der Hagen owned 'andere Boekjens en losse
printen' by Van Santen (advert. dated October 11 and 28,
estate sale of the widow of Albert Magnus, the famous bookbinder,
also included a grand Blaeu atlas. For sale were 'veel
schoone Atlassen en Stedeboeken van Blaeu in verscheydene
Talen, waer onder een seer heerlyk door Dirk Jansz van
Santen alfgezet, en 19 deelen Latyn, de weerga van Blok ( ..
)' (advert. dated February 8 and 12, 1707).
This atlas was identified by Fontaine Verwey as the series of 19
exquisitely coloured volumes housed in the Museum
MeermannoWestreenianum in The Hague, the Atlas van Hadrianus
Relandus (nr.3). The volumes were purchased for f 415 in
1761 by Gerard Meerman from the son of the orientalist Hadrianus
Relandus. In a note which has been preserved, Meerrnan wrote
that the atlas was purchased from the Blaeus for f
2,000. Although Meerman does not mention this, Fontaine
Verwey is of the opinion that this purchase was made from the
estate of Magnus' widow. Both cases concern a 19-volume,
Latin atlas. The atlas in Museum Meermanno was probably not
bound by Magnus, however, and contains a Dutch section (Goos'
were more 19-volume Blaeu atlases coloured by Van Santen in
circulation. Six years after Meerman's purchase in 1767,
another 19-delige atlas van Blaeu coloured 'extra fraay' by
Van Santen and having belonged to Jan de Kommer was auctioned off
(advert. dated April 14, 1667, auction April 15). It cannot
be determined at the moment how closely related the atlases of the
Magnus, Relandus and Jan de Kommer families may be, due to lack of
detailed descriptions (the catalogues for the Magnus widow and Jan
de Kommer sales have not been recovered).
sale of 'papieren konst' by H.A. van der Marck (The Hague, October
31, 1712), a fourteen-volume atlas decorated by Van Santen was
sold, containing the eleven-volume Atlas Maior van Blaeu en drie
atlassen van Janssonius.
van Beest was an art collector who possessed a large number of Van
Santens (auction advert. March 3, 1714) including the
above-mentioned Hertspieghel by Hendrick Laurensz Spieghel
(not mentioned in the advertisement),'een Atlas in 4
deelen, een Atlas Minor', a number of volumes of the Cabinet
du Roy, Bibles, emblem collections and historic works (... ), 'alle
ongemeen konstig en met goud doorwrogt afgezet van den vermaerden
Dirk Jansz van Zanten, nooit so gezien, (... )'. Unfortunately, the
catalogue of this collection has not been found to date. The
Raket agents in Amsterdam auctioned an anonymous estate in 1720
which included 'een curieuse Atlas van Blaeu in 11
Folianten, cierlyk afgezet door J. van Santen'.
Witsen owned a cabinet which had been specially made for an
elfdelige Blaeu-Atlas, consisting of a nine-volume
'Grooten Atlas' and two Dutch Stedeboeken, 'door D.S.
van Santen, curieus afgeset' (cat. March 30, 1728, p.15).
Moreover, the previously mentioned unknown collector Joan Bus
counted an 'Atlas' coloured by Van Santen as one of his
showpieces and Goswin van Uilenbroek possessed a celestial atlas
coloured by Van Santen (cat.1741, p.28).
there are about 150 atlas volumes named here, which make up 20
single and multi-volume atlases.
Van Santen's other work, from Bibles to
drawings by Pieter Holsteyn.
In addition to atlases and maps, Van Santen coloured many other
books during his forty year career; these included Bibles, volumes
of plates and print series (portraits, triumphant entries,
funerals), heraldic works, emblem and poetry collections. The
albums containing print series were often compiled by the owner
It is not generally known that Van Santen
coloured drawings as well as engravings. In the 1730
catalogue of Van der Hem's books, p. 62, no. 720, we find reference
to an album of 79 drawings of water birds by Pieter Holsteyn (ca.
1614-1687), coloured by Van Santen ('Aves Aquatiles ad vivum
eleganter depictae a Petro Holsteyn, cet ouvrage est de la demière
propreté, tant pour l'exactitude & netteté des dessins &
ses coulours, enluminées par van Santen, que pour la conservation
No. 721 (p. 63) is 'Aves ad vivum depictae a Petro Holsteyn,
celeb. Pict., 104 dessins, enluminés par van Santen.'
Coloured drawings by Pieter Holsteyn (ca. 1614-1687) are found in
large numbers in Van der Hem's collection but no mention is made of
any contribution by Van Santen'. For this reason it may be
assumed that the descriptions are accurate. It is possible
that Holsteyn also had been commissioned by Van der Hem and his
descendants and that these drawings were 'finished' by Van Santen
after Holsteyn's death in 1687.
What follows in brief are
all the descriptions of titles as they have been found to date (1992) from
old auction catalogues, with the exception of the cartography and
drawings cited and discussed more extensively above. A number
of references most likely alludes to the same book which passed
from one collector to another. It is not clear in all of the
references which book or print series is meant; this is the case
for 'Emblemataas' or 'Historien', for example. Nevertheless,
these references have been included for the sake of
completeness. Various books or print series which are
mentioned as 'volumes of plates' are mentioned as separate titles
(but from the same source). The books are grouped by type as
much as possible; the categories we use are cartography (see
above), theology, heraldry, plates and print series and other
works. Clarification of the titles is given in brackets, the
sources are given in parentheses. Bibliographical details are
not given as yet, nor has an attempt been made to complete the
catalogue descriptions. Further bibliographical research will
reveal more about Van Santen and his work.
Bijbel (Jean Bus, ca. 1700);
Dordrecht 1686, with silver clasps (anonymous auction January 1,
1720), [see p.26, nr.81;
Bijbel in two
volumes and approx. 150 illustrations and maps (anonymous auction
April 16, 1740, Haverkamp/Kerfbijl agents);
Het Oude en Nieuwe Testament
(W. van Beest 1714);
Het Oude en Nieuwe Testament van
Mortier (W. van Beest
César de Saint Réal, La Vie de Jésus
Christ, Paris 1678 (Van der Marck 1727, p. 40, no. 2);
R.P.M. Tanner, Societas Jesu .., Prague 1675 (Hem 1730, pp.
5718 no. 678);
Missale Romanum S. S. Concilii Tridentini
Restitutum, Pil. V Pont. Max.justu editwn &
Clementis VIII auctotitate recognitum, Colon. Agr. 1629
(Hem 1730, p. 57 no. 677);
[L. Hortensius], De Naektlopers (Hem
1684, p. 66, no. 20);
[Chr. van Sichem], Hooftketteren van Nederland en Amsterdam
(Hem 1684, p. 66, no. 20);
Jean Le Feron & Denys Godefroy,
Histoire de Connestables, Chanceliers ... avec feurs
Armes & Blason, Paris 1651 (Hem 1684, p. 29, no. 30);
Het Huis van Croy (de hertogen van Aerschot) van het jaar 0 tot
nu toe (Hem 1684, p. 65, no. 17);
Genealogie & descente ... de la Maison de Croy
(Hem 1730 p. 60 no. 685);
Volumes of plates and bound print
[Ch. Perrault], Groot Carouzel van de koning van
Frankiljk (Hem 1684, p. 63, no. 4);
Karoussel (Joan Bus,
Het Karousel van Koning Lodewyk XIV (Cromhout 1709, p. 5,
't Carousel (W. van Beest 1714);
Caroussel, Latin edition, Paris 1670 (G.Uilenbrock, 1729 p.
89, no. 450; 1741 p. 45, no. 319);
Courses de Testes et de Bagues ... (Caroussel), bound
together with Fétes de 1'Isle Enchanté (Hem 1730
Atlas-suppl. 111 (vol. 49));
Het Carousel. Courses des testes et de Bagues ...
(Valerius Rover, ms. ca. 1739, no. IIA18, 1); (54)
Eenige operaes aan de koning tot Versailles vertoont (Hem
1684, p. 63, no. 4; bound together with 'Groot Carouzel);,
probably the same copy as Hem 1730, Adas-suppl.111 (vol. 49), now
in the National Library, Vienna);
De Begrafenis van Karel, hertog van Lotharingen, te Nancy
[Nancy, 1610-16111 (Hem 1684, p. 62, no. 1);
De Begrafenis van Karel Ill hertog van Lotharingen te Nancy
[incl. 75 prints] (Deynoot 1724, p. 15 1, no. 1);
P.P. Rubens, De Intocht van de Kardinaal-Infant te Antwerpen
(Hem 1684, p. 62, no. 2);
Intocht Lodewijk XIV te Reina 1654 (Hem 1730, Atlas-suppl.11
Introl'tus Ferdinandi Antwerpen 1641 (Hem
1730, Atlas-suppl. IV (vol. 50));
Portretten van Keizers van Oostenrijk (Hem 1684, p. 62, no.
't Schip te Brussel voor de Koning van
Spanje (Hem 1684, p. 62, no. 21);
Portretten van Keizers en Keizerinnen van Oostenrijk, met wapens
en stambomen (Hem 1684, p. 62 no. 3);
De Triomfwagen van Keizer
Maximiliaan (Hem 1684, p. 62
Inhaling van Keizer Karel V te
Bologna (Hem 1684, p. 63,
De Begrafenis van Keizer Karel
V (Hem 1684, p. 63, no.5);
De Begrafenis van Aartshertog Albert,
gouverneur van Nederland,. (Hem 1684, p.
63, no. 6);
Portretten van doorluchtige Franse mannen
naar ajbeeldingen in het paleis van kardinaal Richelieu
(Hem 1684, p. 63, no. 7);
Portretten van Prinsen van Holland en
Westfriesland van de 1e Graaf Dirk tot Philips van Spanje
(Hem p. 64, no. 8);
Alle vaderlandse bisschoppen en
heiligen (Hem p. 64, no.
Portretten van de Kardinalen t.t.v.Paus
Alexander VII (Hem 1684, p. 64, no.
Portretten van de Kardinalen t.t.v.Paus
Klemens X (Hem 1684, p. 64, no.
(Hem 1684, p. 64, no. 11);
De Intrede van de hertog van Anjou te
Antwerpen (Hem 1684, p. 64, no.
't Lusthuys van de Prins Pamphilio met de
antieke beelden (Hem 1684, p. 64, no.
De Zaal van Pietro da Cortona
(Hem 1684, p. 64, no. 13);
Portretten van Keizers, Koningen,
Heriogen etc. van het hele ChristenrUk (Hem 1684, p. 62, no. 14);
Portretten van beroemde mannen, door 'de
beste meesters' als Lucas van Leyden, Darer, Aldegrever en
Sadeleer (Hem 1684, p. 65, no.
Boek met 52 ajbeeldingen van Doorluchte
en Dappere Mannen, nauwkeutig uit de beste Meesters, als Lucas van
Leiden, A.Dfirer, Aldegreef Sadeleer e.a. bijeen
gebracht (Deynoot 1724, p. 152, no.
Portretten van geleerden
(Hem 1684, p. 65, no. 16);
45 Afbeeldingen van Geleerde
Mannen (Deynoot 1724, pp. 152/3, no.
De Tapitseryen van den Koning van
Vrankrijk (W. van Beest
De Tapisserie van Versailjes
(anon. auction 1718, Ph. Steen,
Comedien van den Koning van
VrankrUk (W. van Beest
Divertissementen van den Koning van
Vrankrijk (W. van Beest
De Tonneelen van den keyser Leopoldus en
Margherita, verbeeldende de Theaters van de Italiaansche Opera 11
Pomo d'Oro door Francisco Sbarro, door
Ludovico Burnacini getekent, door M.Küsel in 't koper gesneden [40
illus.] (Valerius Röver, 1748, ms. 11A18, p. 61, no.
(Cierlyke en galante printen, meest uyt de) Theatre Italien (Valerius Röver, verkocht 1738, Ms IIA18, p.
61, no. 3);
De Reis in Holland. van Karel II Koning van Engeland
(Cromhout 17.09, p. 5, no. 16);
[C.van Baerlel Inkomst van Matia de Medici tot Amsterdam
(Cromhout 1709, p. 5, no. 14);
De Blyde inkomst der Alderdoorluchtigste Koninginne Maria de
Medici t'Amsterdam, Blaeu 1639 (Hem 1730, p. 60, no. 684);
Vertooningen op de Vreede tot Amsterdam in het Jaar 1648
(Cromhout 1709, p. 5, no. 15);
Botanical writings, poems, emblems, history,
De hesperides (..) tot Romen gedrukt ( .. ) [J.B.Ferrarius,
Hesperides .... Rome 16651 (Hem 1684, p. 65, no. 18);
Commelyn, De Nederlantse hesperides (Hem 1684, p. 65, no.
19)-1 Joh.Antonides van der Goes, Gedichten, Amsterdam 1685
(Nicolai 1698 p. 261, no. 60);'
Oxonia Illustrata, of de Afbeelding van Oxfort en haare Scholen
collegien Boekzaal enz. in't Laryn (Cromhout 1709, p. 5 no.
'Historien' (W. van Beest 1714);
'Zinnebeelden' (Joan Bus ca. 1700);
'Emblemataas' (W. van Beest 1714);
Ovidius' Metamorfosen with prints by Diepenbeeck (Hem 1684,
p. 64, no. 9); Batimens de France (Hem 1730, Atlas suppl,
vol. I (47)).
It is clear that colouring atlases was Van Santen's primary
occupation, followed by the decoration of print books and print
series. In addition, Van Santen regularly illuminated Bibles
with inserted prints, and to a lesser extent, illustrated books of
various topics, such as classical and contemporary poetry,
gardening, astrology and history.
The old references to Van Santen's works runs to more than 200
atlas and book volumes. If we take into consideration that
Van Santen worked on some very exclusive volumes of plates for a
whole year and also that his career spanned approximately forty
years, this number could approximate the total number of works he
Up until the end of his life, Van Santen
illuminated and gilded the most prestigious printed works of his
time in an exceptionally painterly and brilliant manner. In
so doing he made the Golden Age quite literally
1. See in connection with
this T.Goedings, "Kaarkicurders en de technische aspecten van het
kleuren in de zestiende en zeventiende ceuw", in J.F.Heybroek
(ed.), Kunst in Kaart, Amsterdam 1989, pp.
H.de la Fontaine Verwey was the first to gather material about Van
Santen and his work, most notably in "The Glory of the Blaeu Atlas"
and the "Master Colourist", Quaerendo XI (1981), pp.
Z.K. von Uffenbach, Merkwüdige Reisen durch Niedersachsen,
Holland und Engelland, 3 vols., Ulm 1750-1754, vol. 3, pp.
from W.K.Gnirrep, 'Dirk Janszoon van Santen en cen liefbebber der
Joodse oudheden', Jaarverslag van het Koninklijk Oudheidkundig
Genootschap, 1986, pp. 51-64, after findings of Marja
Keizer. See also: M.Daamen and A.Meijer, Catalogus van
gedrukte Nederlandse gelegenheidsgedichien uit de 17de en 18de eeuw in de Zeeuwse
Bibliotheek te Middelburg.
Middelburg 1990, no. 166.
5. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note
J.A.Gruys and C.de Wolf, typographi & bibliopolae
Neerlandici usque ad annum MDCC Thesaurus. Nederlandse
boekdrukkers en boekverkopers tot 1700 met plaatsen en jaren van
werkzaanheid. Nieuwkoop 1980, p. 79.
See U.Thieme and F.Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildende
Künstier 29(1935), p. 429. In contrast to Dutch 18th and
19th century reference books on painters, the French artist
encyclopedia by Mariette (Abécédario (1859) VI, p. 1) makes
reference to Van Santen (as an 'excellent enlumincur' who
distinguished himself in his profession).
8. The "Carrousel' or, according
to its official title, the 'Courses de testes et de bague
faite par le roy et des princes' represents an equestrian
festivity that was given in 1662 for Louis XIV at the Place du
Carrousel in Paris. Louis had this 'faite-book' and a number
of others printed in large folio format about 1670, with prints
from such artists as Rousselet, Edelinck and
9. See the Uilenbroek library
catalogues from 1729, p. 89 no.450; and from 1741, p.28 no.319.
The, 1729 auction did not take place. According to Fontaine
Verwey, op.cit. (note 2) p.288 n.61, this volume was purchased by
Uilenbroek at the Bibliotheca Nicolaiana auction (Amsterdam,
Jansen van Santen, kaartafsetter oudt 37 Jaren after de oude kerk,'
Municipal archives of Amsterdam (GAA) Banns record no.
501,180. From 1675 to 1682 they lived on Spiegelgracht, it is
believed from the registration of the birth of three children, all
of whom died shortly after their birth. In 1682 they again
were living near the Oude Kerk (perhaps related to the death of Van
Santen's father in 1679).
Uffenbach, op.cit. (note 3) pp. 600-606.
will be an exhibition devoted to the Atlas Blaeu-van der Hem
very shortly (Royal Palace, Amsterdam, summer 1992). The most
extensive treatment of the complete Atlas is K.Ausserer's
'Der Atlas Blaeu der Wiener Nationalbibliothek', Beitrage
zur historischen Geographie, Leipzig 1929,
op.cit. (note 3) p.604; G.J.Hoogewerff, De Twee Reizen van
Cosimo de Medici, prins van Toscane, door de
Nederlanden, 1919, p.76 ff.
died, as did his widow later, without means, 'onvermogend'; see
15. Art sellers
had to be members of the Lucas guild. People who were only
with the colouring of maps and prints were
not required to be members, it would seem. Despite the large
number of colourists, there is almost no reference to them in the
books of the Amsterdam guild.
16. The work
that Van Santen could possibly have decorated and that was in the
possession of Antiquariat J.Dinter in 1985, Cologne (Cat.3,
nos.1,2) is not included in the list of titles from old catalogues
and advertisements given at the end of this article. The book
in question is [W.Goeree,] Mosaize historic der hebreeuwse
kerke, 4 vols., Amsterdam 1700. This antiquarian
bookdealer also ascribes the following work to Van Santen:
A.Schoonebeeck, Histoire des ordres réIigieux Amsterdam
1695. See also W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4),
17. See below 'Works identified as Van
M.M.Kleerkoper and W.P.van Stockum, De Bockhandel te Amsterdam, 2
vols. The Hague 1916, p.1213 ff.
19, There has been some
research done into Willem van Beest's background by W.K.Gnirrep,
op.cit. (note 4), note 4a and 16a. In his will, (notary
Goblet 6-12-1713, NA 7377,1499) there is the note by the 'glaze
printe bortjes': 'Bachus-feest afgezet door Jan van Zanten'.
The widow was bequeated the 'printboek genaamt Tapisseric du Roy
afgezet door Dirk Jansz van Santen' (NA 7377,1503). A copy of
the Tapisserie also appears at the March 1714
20. We only consulted the
catalogue of Cromhout's cartographic possessions, not that of his
library. Thanks to Mr. Jan van der Waals for bringing this to
our attention. See also below : Van Santen's cartographic
GAA, not. 3762, pp.415-419.
Biblia, dat is de gansche Schrifture..., H. and J. Keur,
Dordrecht 1682, UBA BanD4AS. See Fontaine Verwey, op.cit.
(note 2), p.224, and 'Works identified as Van Santen's',
23. Advert. dated Nov. 6, 1723,
Amsterdamse Courant: 'J.P.Zomer en Gysbert Hol Makelaars zullen up
Dingsdag den 16 November t'Amsterdam in de Witte Molen verkopen,
cen party Papierkonst, door cen voornaem Liefhebber nagelaten,
bestaende in konstige Italiaense, Franse en Nederlanse Meesters, so
tekeningen als Prente, en eenige Modelle en veel rare en konstige
afgezette Kaerten van Dirk Jarisz. van Zanten, en eenige Schilders
gereedschappen, en een schoone Vryfsteen. De Catalogen zyn te
bekomen by J.P.Zomer, en Gysbert Hol.'
24. Taken from the auction
catalogue for the Bibliotheca Hemmiana, 1684, p.62
Uffenbach, op.cit. (note 3) 111 pp. 600-606.
26. E-Berger, Beitrage zur
Entwicklungsgeschichte der Maltechnik, Munich 1901 (reprint
1975), IV,p.297 no.254.
Uffenbach, op.cit. (note 3) ill pp. 6oo-606.
Fontaine Verwey op.cit. (note 2) p. 223 note 42.
For the atlases and Bibles listed here, see below, 'Recovered work
by Van Santen'.
30. See note 51.
31. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2) and
W.K. Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4)
32. Ausserer, op.cit. (note 12), p.
33. No research has been done into
when exactly the Atlas was given its present form of 46
volumes and 4 supplements. At the time of the Moetjens
auction (1730), 14 of the 46 were no longer bound. See also
Uffenbach, op.cit. (note 3), p.604.
34. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2), pp.
35. Auction catalogue Bibliotheca
Hemmiana April 18, 1684, Amsterdam, by H. and
36. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2), p.
37. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2), pp.
38. See Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2)
pp. 219-221; see also below, 'Old references to Van Santen's work',
39. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2), pp.
40. See Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2),
pp. 224. He expresses the opinion that all of the notes
accompanying the prints were written by Van Santen. This
seems unlikely because of the fact that at least four different
handwritings can be distinguished.
41. For the compilation of the Bible and
the dating of the prints, see W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit (note 4) pp. 57,
42. W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4) pp,
43. W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4) pp.
44. W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4) pp.
45. A.J.Enschede, Inventaris van het
Archief der Stad Haarlem, 1867, p. 61, no. 19. C.Koeman,
Atlantes Neerlandici IV, Amsterdam 1970, Loon 9.
W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4) p. 60.
46. Cf. Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2),
pp. 222, 223.
F.W.H.Holstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and
Woodcuts ca. 1450 - 1700, Amsterdam, vol. IX,p.132. nos.
1129-1131, 'Atlas Novus'.
W.K.Gnirrep, op.cit. (note 4) pp. 57.
see in the list which follows below, 'Old references to work by Van
Santen', Cartography' under Willem van Beest.
50. The auction catalogues we consulted are
found in the library of the Vereeniging ter Bevordering van de
Belangen des Boekhandels and the University Library, Amsterdam,
aside from Cromhout (Herzog August Ulrichbibliothek, Wolffenbuttel)
and Van der Hem 1684 catalogues (National Library, London).
The auction advertisements are mentioned in the Amsterdamse
51. In the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The
Hague (KB) there is a four volume handsomely coloured composite
atlas. Each volume contains 100 maps. Its origin has
never been researched. Not only Van der Hem but also Willem
van Beest possessed a four volume atlas illuminated by Van
52. See Fontaine Verwey op.cit (note 2) pp.
219-221,. see also 'Work identified as Van Santen's', above, no.
53. See Hem 1684, pp. 66, 67, nos. 22-28, in
which a total of 642 Holsteyn drawings of birds, animals and
flowers are recorded. Related to nos. 720 and 721 (1730) are
nos. 23 depicting 78 water birds and no. 22 depicting 102 birds,
54. According to Fontaine Verwey, op.cit
(note 2), p. 228, Rdver's Caroussel is the same copy as that
belonging to the Van der Hem family in 1711. At the 1730
auction (Moetjens, The Hague), however, this volume was the third
supplement volume (no. 49) of the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem
which was sold in its entirety to Prince Eugenius of
55. Perhaps Van Santen coloured more
work of Antonides van der Goes. Two beautifully coloured
copies are known (in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague and
in a private collection) of his Y-stroom (Amsterdam 1671),
bound by Magnus and containing five prints by Romeyn de
Hooghe. See Fontaine Verwey, op.cit. (note 2), p.227 and note
59; see also J.Landwehr, Romeyn de Hiooghe (1645-1708) as Book
Illustrator, a Bibliography, Amsterdam 1970, No.
Please contact us if you have an interest in buying maps or atlases coloured by Van Santen.