Claes Jacobsz van der Heck: 13 interesting facts

By Gwylym Owen

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Claes Jacobsz van der Heck (1575 in Alkmaar – 1652 in Alkmaar), was a Dutch Golden Age painter.

According to Karel van Mander he was a good painter, disciple of Jan Nagel, related to Maarten van Heemskerck, and specialized in landscapes. According to Houbraken who mentions that he was listed on the last page of the Schilder-boeck, his works hung in the Alkmaar city hall in the same way as he was writing, and he mentions landscape views of Egmond Abbey, a Judgment of Solomon, portraits, and additional historical allegories. He helped set going on the Alkmaar Guild of Saint Luke in 1631. According to the RKD he helped set in the works the Alkmaar Guild of Saint Luke in 1632, and much of his fake hangs in the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. Several of his landscapes of Egmond hang in that museum and one of them shows a landscape of Egmond aan Zee as it looked before it was washed to sea in 1717.

He was also linked to the landscape painter Claes Dircksz van der Heck, who made similar landscapes and probably worked in the similar workshop. According to Hessel Miedema’s notes upon this relatives in his translation of Karel van Mander’s Schilder-boeck, “Jacques van der Heck” (or Jacob Dircksz) was a son of Maarten van Heemskerck’s sister Neeltje and her husband Dirk van der Heck. Jacques’ son “Niclaes” was Claes Jacobsz van der Heck. Heemskerck had disinherited “another nephew” (presumably a Dirk Dirksz, the later dad of Claes Dircksz van der Heck), and left a portion in his will to Jacob Dircksz.

According to Houbraken he was the father of Marten Heemskerck van der Heck, but according to the RKD, Marten Heemskerck van der Heck was the son of his cousin Claes Dirksz.

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