7 facts about David van der Plas

By Gwylym Owen

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David van der Plas (11 December 1647 – 18 May 1704), was a Dutch Golden Age portrait painter.

David van der Plas became well-known as a portrait painter, and his most illustrious patron was Cornelis Tromp. In 1684 he married Cornelia van der Gon of Haarlem, the daughter of the castellan (kastelein) of the Oude Doelen, the meeting quarters of the Haarlem schutterij (the building currently houses the Stadsbibliotheek Haarlem). David van der Plas’ brother-in-law was the painter Govert van der Leeuw and his pupil was Jacob Appel.

His wife Cornelia van der Gon was the wealthy heiress of the Amsterdam architect Adriaan Dortsman (ca. 1636-1682), who meant the round Lutheran church upon the Singel. The marriage was childless, and Cornelia spent her time upon her doll houses, which Dortsman had helped design and which Van der Plas helped decorate. The landscape painter Jan Wijnants furthermore painted miniatures for these doll houses. Cornelia died in 1701, and after the death of Van der Plas, the doll houses were sold at auction to Sara Rothé, who used them to prettify her own doll houses. One of these doll houses can be seen in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, and the supplementary one can be seen in the Frans Hals Museum.

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