Dirk van der Hagen's Atlas

The coronation of Stadholder William III and his wife Mary Stuart as King and Queen of England in 1689 symbolized the end of the Glorious Revolution. Among the retinue accompanying William and Mary to England was the engraver Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708), who at the time recorded almost all important historical events. A number of his prints have been included in an atlas of four volumes which is kept at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The term atlas should not be interpreted in the modern sense of the word as a book of maps, but taken in the wider sense: a collection of maps and topographical pictures, with additional portraits, pictures of animals and plants, mythological scenes, etc.

We do not know the original owner of this atlas. It may have been the Amsterdam merchant Dirk van der Hagen, who had brought together a considerable collection of drawings and prints. The Amsterdamsche Courant of 11 October 1710 announced the sale of ‘all art on paper left by the late Mr Dirk van der Hagen’. One of the entries at the auction was ‘an Atlas in 4 Volumes, overpainted with gold &c. in an uncommonly artistic way, as never seen before, by D. Jansz van Zanten’. As far as could be ascertained no copies of the auction catalogue have been preserved, and it is also unknown who bought Dirk van der Hagen's atlas at the time. The literature on the ‘master colourer’ Van Santen always lists the Van der Hagen atlas as one of his products whose whereabouts are unknown.

The most recent literature regards the atlas, of which an engraving is reproduced on the opposite page, as the Dirk van der Hagen atlas, which was presumed missing. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this provenance, although the date would fit: the maps by famous map makers like Blaeu, Visscher, de Wit and Janssonius, and the prints by Romeyn de Hooghe and others all date from the period up to 1689. Moreover, the atlas consists of four volumes and the colouring is currently indeed attributed to Van Santen. It has been held by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek since 1887, originating from the bequest of P.J.B.C. Robidé van der Aa.

Atlas [collected by Dirk van der Hagen?]. C. 1690. 4 vols., with a hundred maps and prints each. - 1049 B 10-13, vol. 2, plate 23

Atlas [collected by Dirk van der Hagen?]. C. 1690. 4 vols., with a hundred maps and prints each. - 1049 B 10-13, vol. 2, plate 23


De wereld binnen handbereik. Nederlandse kunst- en rariteitenverzamelingen, 1585-1735. Zwolle, Amsterdam [1992]
Een wereldreiziger op papier. De atlas van Laurens van der Hem (1621-1678). Amsterdam [1992].