Wybo Fijnje, Mennonite democratic revolutionary of the era of the French Revolution

Wybo Fijnje, Mennonite democratic revolutionary of the era of the French Revolution

I’m adding a space for a future profile of a significant figure in Dutch public life in the revolutionary era. Here’s a brief preview of a post I’m developing about Wybo Fijnje…

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François Adriaan van der Kemp

François Adriaan van der Kemp

Below is a pre-publication version of the following article:

Michael Driedger, “Kemp, Francis Adrian van der,” from The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, ed. Mark Spencer (2015).

  • NOTE: If you wish to cite the article, please make sure to consult the published version.

IMAGE SOURCE: The portrait I use at the start of the post is from the Luce Center at the New York Historical Society in New York City. Its reference number is 1922.5, and the caption that goes with the portrait reads: “The subject was born in Kampen, the Netherlands, the son of John and Anna (Leydekker) Van der Kemp. He was ordained a minister at Leyden in 1776. This portrait was painted at the request of some of his friends while he was in prison in Utrecht in 1787. Banished from Holland because of his controversial political views, he brought his family to America in 1788. The portrait descended through the family to his granddaughter, Pauline E. Henry, from whom it was acquired by the donor.”

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Maria Aletta Hulshoff

Maria Aletta Hulshoff

Maria Aletta Hulshoff, daughter of the significant Dutch philosopher and Mennonite preacher, Allard Hulshoff, was (like her father) an ardent support of democracy. among her writings was the Peace-republicans’ manual; or, The French constitution of 1793, and the Declaration of the rights of man and of citizens, according to the Moniteur of June 27th, 1793; in the original French, together with a translation in English (New York, 1817).

Title page of Hulshoff’s 1817 book.

Other sources in English include the following:

I will try to add to this post in the coming weeks.

“Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron?”

“Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron?”

On Friday, 1 March, I gave a public presentation at the Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines. My talk’s title was “Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron? Examples from the Dutch Republic (1780-1810), and (Maybe?) Their Relevance for Today.” It was the second of four talks in a public discussion series called “Peace of Cake” (talks about peace church histories and ethics, plus continuing discussions afterwards over cake).

The handout I shared at the talk is this timeline…

I’ll add a few notes to the Dutch Dissenters Blog from time to time.

 

(Self-)Portraits of early modern artists from Doopsgezind (Mennonite) milieus

(Self-)Portraits of early modern artists from Doopsgezind (Mennonite) milieus

This post consists of a gallery of early modern Dutch Mennonite artists (or those who were a part of Mennonite milieus, even though they might not have been congregational members). The list is far from exhaustive, but it provides a quick sense of just how involved in the arts Mennonites were. For more details about Mennonite artists, or Anabaptist portrayed in art, click the tags “art” or “portrait”. Read more

Images of the Lamb Church (aka Singelkerk) in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Doopsgezind (aka Mennonite) church on the inner city canal ring called the Singel is a major landmark in the history of Dutch dissenters. Its modern address is Singel 452. The building did not and still does not look like a church from the outside. Since Mennonites did not enjoy rights of public worship in most part of the Netherlands until the 19th century, they usually made the outside of their meeting houses to look like a regular building (for more, see the Wikipedia article on clandestine churches). The Singelkerk is a major example of a Dutch clandestine church.

The Singel Church was the epicentre of the so-called “War of the Lambs” in the middle of the 17th century (see the building’s symbol). Read more

Early modern Mennonite families in Dutch art

The Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam recently finished an exhibit of 18th-century family portraits. I’m posting a poster from that exhibit, plus 5 portraits of Doopsgezind families who lived in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The artworks are from the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Museum. I plan eventually to add more details about these portraits and families; my goal is to place the expanded form of this post in the exhibits portion of this website. For now, click on an image to view it in more detail and to find links for more information.

For more details, click on the pictures.

Quotation: F.A. van der Kemp on the American Revolution as a model for the Dutch (1782)

In America the Sun of Salvation has risen, which will shine its rays upon us provided we so desire. Only America can revive our Trade and our Shipping…. America provides us again, if we dare look at it, a striking proof of how Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. America can teach us how to resist the degeneration of National Character, how to check the corruption of morals, how to prevent bribery, how to choke off the seeds of tyranny and restore moribund Liberty to health.

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The Publisher of the Book Forged in Hell: The Output of Jan Rieuwertsz Sr., Spinoza’s Intellectual Agent

Nadler-BookForgedInHellThe title of this post is an allusion to Steven Nadler’s A Book Forged in Hell. That 2011 book is about Baruch Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, a work that scandalized secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the later 17th century — and has influenced philosophers and historians in recent years. The purpose of this post is to share a bibliography compiled by Piet Visser and his students in the 1990s. Piet retired in June 2014 from his professorship at the Mennonite seminary at the Free University in Amsterdam. Before that he was the chief curator of rare books and professor of book history at the University of Amsterdam. It’s in this earlier role that the list that you can find below originated.

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A “new” etching by Romeyn de Hooghe? Updated and revised post

deHoogheCatalog2008

Cover of a 2008 catalog that accompanied an exhibit in 2008-9 at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. The translation of the catalog title is “Romeyn de Hooghe: the late Golden Age brought to life.”

Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) is a major figure in the world of European art history in the era of the Dutch Golden Age. What’s more, he played a significant role in Anglo-Dutch politics around the time of the Glorious Revolution as a supporter of William of Orange / William III. He’s been the subject of a significant number of exhibitions and academic studies recently. For example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has just finished an exhibit on “The Book Illustrations of Romeyn de Hooghe” (13 Sept. 2014 to 25 Jan. 2015). In this post I introduce an anonymous etching that I think might be by him (or maybe by his student Adriaan Schoonebeek).

Note: Since first publishing this post I have updated it a few times. One revision was from Feb. 8, and more thorough revisions are from Feb. 11 and 23. The main change in the most recent, thorough revisions is to downplay the importance of the 1660 edition of Hortensius.

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