Museum of Bags Hendrikje

Herengracht 573
Thomas Munster
Cornelis de Graeff
Cultuur, Leisure

Cornelis de Graeff, a former burgomaster of Amsterdam, owned, together with three other men, a number of plots on Herengracht. In 1664, the four owners agreed to divide up the land and it was decided that they would all build to the same height and under a single cornice. The row of houses they built on Herengracht, numbers 571 to 581, constitutes a unique collaboration in Amsterdam’s ring of canals.

Because Cornelis de Graeff died in the year the agreement was drawn up, his son Pieter de Graeff built the house. Pieter de Graeff, who in 1668 was given an important administrative function in Amsterdam, built a double private dwelling. The building had a sober façade with a sandstone central bay, which was crowned at the cornice line by a curved pediment. In the nineteenth century, this façade was replaced by the existing façade with its projecting sandstone central bay crowned by a small pediment.

In 1682, Pieter de Graeff commissioned the artist Paulus de Fouchier to paint a ceiling painting in the small period room. Amsterdam’s patroness is depicted in the centre, surrounded by the continents Europe, Asia, Africa and America, a reference to the trade to which Amsterdam owed its wealth. The ceiling painting in the large period room was painted in around 1741. (ARCAM/TB)