Huis Bartolotti

Herengracht 170-172
Hendrick de Keyser
Willem van den Heuvel (Guillelmo Bartolotti)
Tram 1-2-5-13-17-20 + 10 min. lopen vanaf de Dam
R. Meischke, Het Nederlandse Woonhuis, Amsterdam 1969; R. Meischke e.a., Huizen in Nederland - Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1993.

Canal house in Dutch Renaissance style

The beer brewer Willem van den Heuvel, who later became the banker Guillelmo Bartolotti, is the eponym of the wide building in the so-called ‘small bend’ in Herengracht. The design of the house, also known as ‘Het Bonte Huis’ (the motley house), is attributed to Hendrick de Keyser, its realization to his son Pieter. The house is one of three examples of an early seventeenth-century house with side house still in existence. The other examples are ‘De Dolphijn’ (the dolphin) (Singel 140-142) and the ‘Huis met de Hoofden’ (house with the heads) (Keizersgracht 123).

The house has a facade with six axes in the Dutch Mannerist style (or Dutch Renaissance as it is also called), with a stepped gable, pilasters, eccentric entrance and two cartouches. The latter bear the inscriptions: ‘Ingenio et Assiduo Labore’ (through ingenuity and assiduous labour) and ‘Religione et Probitate’ (through religion and probity). The gable has a balustrade on either side and together with the pilasters this gives the impression of a second storey: the house appears to be taller than it in fact is. The building has two angles in its facade, the outermost bays are set obliquely, so that the building can follow the curve of the canal.

Huis Bartolotti was restored between 1967 and 1971, under the architect D. Verheus, resulting in a complex which dominates this section of Herengracht. The topmost part of the gable, which had been altered in the nineteenth century to make it more sober, was reconstructed and the corner chimneys were restored. A second restoration took place between 1995 and 1997, in which the interior in particular was returned to its original state. The Hendrick de Keyser Society acquired Herengracht 170 in 1924. In 1971 it acquired Herengracht 172. Part of Huis Bartolotti has been incorporated in the Netherlands Theatre Institute (which also has premises at Herengracht 168 and 174). (ARCAM/OD)