The 19th century until today
Muiderslot from the south, earliest known photo of the castle, approx. 1875
In the nineteenth century, Muiderslot was offered for sale ‘to be demolished’ and was only saved at the last moment. It was then restored and converted into a museum. Muiderslot owed its salvation to its status as lieu de mémoire, or memorial site, to the literary life of the seventeenth century. Pieter Hooft was regarded as the central figure in the literary group known as the Muiden Circle (Muiderkring). That status was depicted in literal terms in numerous paintings showing Hooft surrounded by other prominent figures of the time, including Vondel, Roemer Visscher and Tesselschade, in a grand neo-Renaissance-style setting.
Jan Adam Kruseman, ‘Neerlands dicht’rei vereenigd bij den ridder Hooft op het slot te Muiden’, oil on canvas, 1852
For the portrait of Pieter Hooft’s family and literary friends, this nineteenth-century painter imitated the imagery and the light of his famous predecessors in the Golden Age.
Jan Gerard Smits, Muiderslot from the south, water colour on paper, 1863
Once Muiderslot had been saved from demolition, it took a long time to restore it and allow it to reopen as a museum. When it did, the artists of the Romantic period struck a chord with the public. This water colour shows how that appeal extended far more to the glorious Golden Age than to the Middle Ages.
Gerrit Lamberts, ink in pen and pencil on paper, 1838
This drawing shows Muiderslot’s Knight’s Hall when it was still a ‘blank page’. During the castle’s restoration and refurbishment as a museum, this room was decorated with rich fittings that had largely been removed in the previous century.
Gebr. Reimeringer, ‘Great Hall in Muiden’, lithography on paper, 1881
The Knight’s Hall with its neo-Renaissance-style panelling and fireplace in the style of Cuypers’ Central Station and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This is how the artist imagined the Knight’s Hall in Hooft’s time in a work to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth.
Johannes Hinderikus Egenberger, ‘Gezelschap om een voordragende Vondel’, oil on canvas, 1882
A striking aspect of cultural life in the nineteenth-century was the central position initially assigned to Joost van den Vondel. Pieter Hooft’s guests are all ears.
J. Aerts en J. Metzger, ‘Cryudhof bij ’t Slot te Muyden’, water colour and ink on paper, 1958
During restorations in the mid-twentieth century, the gardens were also transformed into the style of the seventeenth century. This print mentions all of the practical plants that were grown in the herb garden in Hooft’s time.
Ingeborg van der Enden, The Muiden Circle of 2013, fine art print, 2013
In the autumn of 2013, the castle organised an exhibition about the Muiden Circle. Journalist Bertjan ter Braak organised a competition in which the members of public were asked to decide which of today’s cultural icons best reflected the qualities of Hooft’s circle. The artist Ingeborg van der Enden reproduced the results of the election in this digital image manipulation.