Hendrik van Vliet
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Tribute to an ancestor

Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Teding van Berkhout family originated in the 15th century in Hoorn. Here lives the blacksmith Jan van Berkhout, born in 1446, whose son Pieter Jansz. (c.1472-1558) ships and mayor of the city. His son Jan Pietersz. Berkhout (c.1516-1587), also mayor of Hoorn, marries Cornelia Teding van Cranenburgh (1527-1566). Their five children take the name Teding van Berkhout as a tribute to their premature mother.

One of those five children is Jan Jansz. Teding van Berkhout (1547-1633), who is very meritorious in the war against the Spaniards and with the prestigious appointment of Commander of the Admiralty of the North. He also receives significant domains in the Holland region.

Jans son Adriaan (1571 / 2-1620), as a lawyer at the Court of Holland and as State Council, further develops the reputation of the family. He settles after studying in Leiden and Orléans in The Hague and marries Margaretha van Beresteyn from Delft. As a proponent of moderate politics, he belongs to the confidants of Johan van Oldenbarneveldt, whom he visits on the day of his execution on May 13, 1619. A year later Adriaan dies herself and is buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. In his epitaph he is praised for his great merits as a mediator and negotiator.


Jacob Buys, Ontmoeting van Adriaan Teding van Berkhout met Johan van Oldenbarneveldt

To honor his father Adriaans son Paulus Teding van Berkhout (1609-1672), also counsel of the Court of Holland and accountant of the domains, gives the Delft architectural painter Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet (ca 1611-1675) commissioned to make a painting.

The Interior of the New Church with Adrian tomb in the foreground and its epitaph on the right-hand pillar, will be the result; a unique painting and the only known architectural work commissioned to date in Dutch 17th century painting. Through a refined use of light and dark and through the use of epitaph, viewer, open choir, grave and other details Van Vliet knows how to guide the viewer's view so that it is filled with the memory of the special deceased.


Adriaan Teding van Berkhout, door Jan Anthonisz. van Ravesteyn (c.1572-1657), olie op paneel, 71 x 64 cm, in bezit van de Stichting Teding van Berkhout

For that reason, a shockwave drew through the ranks of Museum Prinsenhof Delft when the family announced in 2014 that they wanted to sell the painting. Since 1953 it had been on loan in the museum and it was one of the most borrowed works abroad. Invariably it was requested if there was an exhibition about Johannes Vermeer somewhere (http://prinsenhof-delft.nl/).

Faced with the need to preserve and manage other family collections, the family had good arguments to sell the painting. And so the curator was first informed of this intention.

Convinced that the painting belonged in Delft and had to stay there, she asked me if I would like to think about the procedure to follow and then in the meetings with the family in advance an explanation about the required valuation for private sales value was willing to give . In good relations one might come to a common assignment to valuation.

And so I sat around the table a number of times in Delft: once to get acquainted, once to get the assignment, and the last time for the presentation of the valued value. The good atmosphere of these meetings was a tribute to Adriaan Teding van Berkhout and to the painting made by Van Vliet in memory of this man. That's how it should be with this kind of important artwork!

Hendrik van Vliet