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Gegevens over enkele epitafen uit het Sint Jansklooster te Haarlem

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image of Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History

In 1625 the Monastery of St. John's in Haarlem, which housed the local Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (Hospitallers), was dissolved. The property, including a large collection of paintings, passed to the City of Haarlem, which claimed all the monasteries in the district of Haarlen as compensation for damage sustairted during the siege and rebellion against Spain. In the monastery's archives, now in the Haarlem Municipal Archives, memorial panels are menizoned fourteen times. Nine of thern occur in three inventories of 1573, one in a testament of 1574 and the rest in the Commander's accounts of 1572, 1573 and 1574. In the case of six of the thirteen items there is no description of the representation at all; one is simply said to depict a number of persons. Four of the six other items are Passion representations. Like The Last Judgment, such themes are in keeping with the functiort of a memorial panel. The description of one epitaph as 'in laudem artis musiccs' is not sufficiently clear to give an idea of the representation. More information is available as to the patrons or commemorated persons. All of them seem to have been members of the Order of St. John: four panels were memorials to commanders, three to ordinary hospitallers and one painting commemorated the founder of the monastery. All were priests. Nothing in the archives suggests that the church contained memorials to non-members of the order. This must nonetheless have been the case: a 'Liber- memoriarum' compiled in 1570 indicates that numerous memorial services were held for the laity, many of whom apparently chose St. John's as their last resting-place. It is thus highly likely that memorials for these worshippers were placed in the church. A 1572 inventory of St. John's Monastery makes no mention of memorial panels, probably because the contents of the church were not listed. After the monastery had been destroyed during the siege of Haarlem, three inventories were drawn up: one of the ruined monastery, one of the items - mainly paintings which were moved to Utrecht, and one of the property taken to the Sint Adriaansdoelen, the temporary home of the order after the destruction of the monastery. Only in these three inventories are epitaphs mentioned. The inventories of 1580 and 1606 were drawn up by order of the City, the claimant to the mortastery's propery. They make no mention of private possessions, not even those of the members of the Order. The 1625 inventory, drawn up after the death of the last inmate, only mentiorts the painting that was bought by the convent to be placed on the grave of its founder. Epitaphs which were not orderend by the convent were probably regarded as private property, and passed to the heirs prior to 1625. Exact dates cannot be ascertained. The author has identified two epitaphs and a painting coming from St. John's. It is not clear whether the small painting of Mary, her cousin Elizabeth and Commander Jan Willem Jansz. (1484-1514) (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Weimar) is (part of) an epitaph or a devotional painting (ill. 2). The 1572 inventory mentions a picture of Jan Willem. It is not described, but the painting in Weimar is a likely candidate because of its small size (72 x 50). The 1573 inventory of the property in the Adriaansdoelen lists a wing of the epitaph of 'Heer Jan', but again, the representation is not described. The 17thcentury genealogist Opt Straeten van der Moelen described the four family coats of arms on the painting, but said nothing about the representation or where he saw it. It was possible to identify the Hospitaller in the Weimar work because of the armorial shield hanging on a tree behind the kneeling figure. The arms correspond with what Opt Straeten van der Moelen described as the arms of the Hospitaller's father, and with a wax impression of Jan Willem Jansz.'s arms (ill. 1) on a document of 1494, now in the Haarlem Municipal Archive. The date and painter of the picture are not known. In the series of portraits of the Commanders of St. John's Monastery in Haarlem (Frans Hals Museum) is a second portrait of Jan Willem. In this, the seventeenth portrait in the series (ill. 3), he is grey-haired, in contrast to the Weimar painting, in which he is depicted with black hair. Jan Willem Jansz. was born in about 1450. In 1484 he was elected Commander of the order, a function which he held until his death in 1514. The Bowes Museum, Durham, owns a triptych of an Entombment (ills. 4 and 5). On the middle panel is a kneeling Knight Hospitaller; on each of the side panels are four persons, arranged in pairs. One of them, on the right wing, is another member of the Order. Coats of arms can be seen on the prie-dieu's behind which three of the four couples kneel, and on the back of the panels (ill. 6). Comparison of these arms with the one on the seal of Philips van Hogesteyn, Commander of the Order frorn 1571 to 1574, suggests that this is his epitaph (ill. 7). The memorial panel is mentioned in the 1573 inventory of property in the Adriaansdoelen. In 1570, before becoming prior of the monastery, Philips had a 'Liber memoriarum' compiled which contained the names of his grandparents and parents. His grandmother came from the Van Arkel family, whose arms bore two opposing embattled bars. This coal of arms facilitated identification of the couples on the left wing. The grandparents are kneeling behind the last prie-dieu - the Van Arkel arms are on the heraldic left of the shield. In front of them are Philips van Hogesteyn's parents. It is harder to establish the identity of the people on the right wing, but the couple kneeling behind the prie-dieu are very likely Philips' brother and sister-in-law. The woman behind them could be his sister. The brother and sister are mentioned in his will, which he made in 1568. However, it is not clear who the Hospitaller on this panel is. It could be an unknown member of the family, but it is also possible that Philips van Hogesteyn was depicted in the triplych twice, first simply as a member of the family on one wing and again, later on in life, on the middle panel as the most important patron. Besides this painted epitaph, an elegy on Philips van Hogesteyn, written bij Cornelys Schonaeus, headmaster of the Latin school in Haarlem, has been preserved. This poem only mentions the effigy of the late Philips in front of the 'worthy reader' - not a word about his family. The 1572 inventory lists two separate portraits of Philips. It is not known where he was buried, nor has it been possible to establish whether his epitaph, with or without the elegy, or a portrait plus an elegy were ever placed on his grave. The painter is not mentioned by name anywhere either. Philips van Hogesteyn took holy orders in 1553. Assuming that he was 17 years old when he joined the Order of St. John, he would have entered the monastery in 1544. If this assumption is correct and he is portrayed twice on the triplych, it could have been painted any time from 1544 on. The reason for the commission must remain unanswered. In the Catharijneconvent Museum in Utrechl is a triptych with a Crucifixion. On the left wing is a kneeling man in a chasuble and stole, and on the right wing a Hospitaller (ill. 8). Today the outsides of the panels are empty. In the catalogue of an exhibition of North-Netherlandish painting and sculpture before 1575, held in 1913, however, the vestiges of the armorial shields -- four on each panel - are mentioned. Apparently this is an epitaph for a member of the Oem van Wijngaarden family, brought to Utrecht in 1573. The Hospitaller is Tieleman Oem van Wijngaarden, who was living in St. John's Monastery in Haarlem at the beginning of the 16th century and died in 1518 person on the right-hand panel appears to be Dirk van Raaphorst -- also known as Dirk van Noordwijk. The Utrecht triptych is identified here as the Van Wijngaarden epitaph from St. John's Monastery despite the fact that the description of shield I on the right-hand panel does not point towards the Oem van Wijngaarden family. Thanks to the fourth shield on the same panel, still in fairly good condition in 1913, it was possible, by dint of invenstigating Tieleman's family, to establish him as the person portrayed on the right-hand panel (see Appendix II). Dirk van Raaphorst of Noordwijk was a canon of St. Pancras' Church in Leiden. He probably owed the name 'van Raaphorst of Noordwijk' to the fact that he was called after his maternal grandfather. For the same reason, the armorial shields on the back of the lefthand panel are not arranged in the usual manner but inverted, i being the mother's arms, II the father's (see also Appendix III). Dirk van Noordwijk was a nephew of Tieleman Oem van Wijngaarden (see Appendix IV). He died in 1502. In 15 18 Tieleman was buried in the same grave in the church of St. John's Monastery. This memorial panel, too, prompts several questions. It is not clear why distant relatives, whose deaths moreover were sixteen years apart, were commemorated on the same panel. Neither the painter nor the dale of the triptych is known. However, perhaps the source of Tieleman's portrait can be established (fig.9). The features in this portrait bear a marked resemblance to those in the portrait of the Hospitaller on the Van Wijngaarden epitaph in Utrecht. Despite publications on individual North-Netherlandish memorial panels, no scholarly examination of the total number of known pieces has yet been initiated. The author is preparing such an examination, which may yield more insight into the customs pertaining to the corramemoration of the dead and the place accupied by memorial panels.

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1989-01-01
2016-08-29

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