Cornelis Springer | Alkmaar, met het Huis van Achten (Provenhuis van Johan van Nordingen) en de Waagtoren op de achtergrond | Kunsthandel Bies

Springer, C. | Alkmaar, with the Huis van Achten

Cornelis Springer

Amsterdam 1817 – 1891 Hilversum

Alkmaar, with the Huis van Achten (Provenhuis van Johan van Nordingen) and the Waagtoren beyond

Oil on panel  44.5 x 57 cm

Signed and dated 1871 lower right
Verso: certificate of authenticity by the artist dated 28 February 1871


Goupil & Cie, Paris (directly acquired from the artist on 4 March 1871 for Dfl. 600,-)

W. Laanstra, H.C. de Bruijn, J.H.A. Ringeling, Cornelis Springer (1817-1891), Utrecht 1984, ill. p. 170, 71-4


This painting shows a view of the Gedempte Nieuwesloot in Alkmaar. The city is traditionally known for its many hofjes. These are courtyards or inner gardens with a number of small homes built around them. They could be built without permits as they were not visible from the street. Although many forms of these types of hofjes exist, in the 13th to 19th century they mainly constructed almshouses. These were intended to accommodate people with little money, mainly the elderly.

The building on the left side of the painting is the Huis van Achten (House of Eight), the hofje commissioned by Johan van Nordingen and established in 1656 as an oudemannenhuis (Old Men’s House); a predecessor of the modern retirement home. The name Provenhuis is a typical term from Alkmaar and comes from the word ‘prove’ meaning a periodic gift to residents. Other cities used the term oudemannenhuis.

As Van Nordingen’s Provenhuis offered accommodation for eight men it was colloquially called the Huis van Achten. The house did actually have more than eight rooms; it had a boardroom, a kitchen, a pantry, a dining room, and service rooms for the staff. In that time it is one of the largest and most exceptional hofjes of the city and moreover not connected to a faith or religion. Most of the hofjes in Alkmaar were intended for women. There was only one other men’s house, the Huis van Zessen (House of Six) but that only took in Catholic men. The Hof of Sonoy borders the inner garden of the Huis van Achten.


More information about the painter Cornelis Springer




Additional Information


Oil paintings


Romantic School


Cityscape, Topography

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