CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide


HERO Exhibition: 11 August - 11 November 2007

Grave of Michiel de Ruyter. Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

Rombout Verhulst, Grave of Michiel de Ruyter, 1681
Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk


Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

To mark the 400th birthday of Holland’s great sea hero Michiel de Ruyter (1607-76), the Rijksmuseum is collaborating with the Nieuwe Kerk on an exhibition celebrating not only de Ruyter but a number of other great Dutch heroes as well:

  • Michiel de Ruyter (1607-76), famous Dutch admiral, prototype of the Dutch hero, savior of the Republic on more than one occasion, died in the service of his country at the Battle of Etna
  • William of Orange (1533-84), the Father of his Country, murdered in Delft
  • Frederik Hendrik (1585-1647), stadholder, youngest son of William of Orange, called “the taker of cities,” the man who established the borders of the Netherlands
  • Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (1598-1653), admiral, predecessor of de Ruyter, fought the Spanish and British, died in the Battle of Ter Heijde
  • Cornelis (1623-72) and Johan de Witt (1625-72), the most powerful men in the country for 20 years, murdered by a furious mob in the Disaster Year 1672
  • Jan van Speyk (1802-31), commander of a frigate during the Belgian Revolt, blew himself up with his ship. He is buried in the Nieuwe Kerk
  • Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1846-1919), politician, anarchist, atheist and anti-militarist, a savior to the Frisians, a boogyman for many others
  • Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962), queen for half a century, known mainly as the Mother of the Resistance during the German occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War
  • Jan van Galen (1604-1653), Dutch admiral, killed in the Battle of Livorno. His grave is in the Nieuwe Kerk
  • J.B. van Heutsz (1851-1924), honored as the conqueror of Atjeh, disdained as colonizer
  • Willem Drees (1886-1988), the Father of Dutch Social Security
  • Anne Frank (1929-1945), whose diary made her a model for people all over the world
  • Johan Cruyff (1947), the most famous Dutch soccer star, adulated everywhere
  • Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen (1735-1819), Dutch sea hero, “The hero of the Black Sea,” buried in the Nieuwe Kerk
  • Pim Fortuyn (1948-2002), a politician who overnight became the object of mass devotion as well as sharp criticism, the victim of a political murder.

Art works from the department of Dutch history of the Rijksmuseum will be displayed along with a great variety of other objects and multimedia presentations.

Press information from the museum website

Aanleiding voor HELD is het 400ste geboortejaar van één van de grootste helden uit de Nederlandse geschiedenis: Michiel de Ruyter. De multimediale tentoonstelling draait om helden, heldendom en heldenverering in Nederland met als uitgangspunt: zonder verering geen held. Via een thematische indeling komen verschillende soorten helden aan bod: officiële helden, volkshelden, controversiële helden en persoonlijke helden. De tentoonstelling is gebaseerd op de historische collectie van het Rijksmuseum, maar ook is er een groot aantal interessante bruiklenen te zien: van schilderijen tot computergames, van persoonlijke relieken tot officiële monumenten.



Gijs van der Ham
Publication to accompany an exhibition organized by the Rijksmuseum and held in 2007 in Amsterdam (Nieuwe Kerk)
Ca. 200 pp., 125 illustrations
Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam) 2007
ISBN-13: 978-90-468-0272-4 (softbound)