Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam, in dartigh coopere plaaten.



Jacob van Campen (1595–1657).


Afbeelding van't Stadt Huys van Amsterdam, in dartigh coopere plaaten.


Amsterdam: Frederick de Wit,




[Bound with:] Prima Pars, Praecipuarum effigierum ac ornamaentorum, amplissimae Curiae Amstelrodamensis, maiori ex parte, in candido marmore effectorumm per Artum Quellinium, eiusdem civitatis statuarium, Amsterdam: Frederick de Witt, 1665, and Secunda Pars, Amsterdam: Frederick de Witt, 16th Jan. 1668.

The Amsterdam Stadt Huis, or town hall, is an enduring incarnation of the city’s, and the Dutch Republic’s, self-confidence, wealth, power and civic vitality at the height of the Golden Age. The cornerstone was laid in 1648, eight months after the Treaty of Munster ended the Eighty Years’ War with Spain, and when completed in 1655, Constantijn Huygens extolled the Stadt Huis as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Jacob van Campen's design and the sculptural program of Artus Quellinus symbolized not only Amsterdam’s glory and (in keeping with the building's function) principles of good governance, but also the perfection of the universe. The Stadt Huis indeed is proof that, as van Campen and Huygens believed, harmonious proportion is the measure of perfection in the universe, the human body, civic government and architecture. Perhaps that is why it remains my favorite building. I had the good fortune to acquire this beautiful and monumental tribute to a beautiful and monumental building early in my collecting, and it remains a cornerstone of my library.


Kenneth J. Pfaehler