Vondel, Joost van den


Vondel, Joost van den
born Nov. 17, 1587, Cologne
died Feb. 5, 1679, Amsterdam

Dutch poet and dramatist.

Of Mennonite parents, Vondel early showed a preference for using Christian mythology as the subject matter of his plays. He also wrote lampoons and satirical poems against the Dutch church and government. His dramatic tragedies, with their lyrical language and grandeur of conception, are his most important achievement. The Passover (1612) is his most notable early work. He first modeled his plays on ancient Latin drama but later turned to the Greek model; plays of the latter type include his masterpiece, the trilogy comprising Lucifer (1654), Adam in Exile (1664), and Noah (1667), which influenced John Milton's Paradise Lost.

* * *

▪ Dutch writer
born Nov. 17, 1587, Cologne
died Feb. 5, 1679, Amsterdam
 Dutch poet and dramatist who produced some of the greatest works of Dutch literature.

      Van den Vondel's Mennonite parents had fled from Antwerp to Cologne and ended up in Amsterdam. The young van den Vondel was largely self-educated. He taught himself French, and he also studied Latin and eventually translated works by Virgil and Seneca. He early showed a preference for using Christian mythology as a subject matter for the plays he wrote. By treating classical themes as adumbrations of Christian truths, he was able to reconcile Renaissance learning with his own personal religious faith. Het Pascha (1612; “The Passover”), a dramatization of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, was his most important early work, in which the power and splendour of his verse is already apparent. This play was an allegory for the Calvinists who had fled from Spanish tyranny in the southern Netherlands.

      The execution of Holland's lord advocate, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, in 1619, provoked Vondel to write a flood of spirited lampoons and satirical poems against the Dutch church and government. His play Palamedes (1625), which dramatized the political trial in a classical setting, incurred his prosecution by the government. Around this time he also translated the great jurist Hugo Grotius' (Grotius, Hugo) drama Sophompaneas into Dutch. Grotius influenced van den Vondel to turn from the emulation of ancient Latin to that of ancient Greek drama.Van den Vondel's Gijsbrecht van Aemstel (1637), written during this transitional period, provides a hero for the capital of the new Dutch Republic who was modeled on Virgil's Aeneas. In 1639 van den Vondel completed his first translation of a Greek tragedy, Sophocles' Electra. His original play Gebroeders, an Old Testament tragedy of the same year, is the first of his plays on the Greek model; they include Jeptha (1659) and his greatest achievements, the trilogy comprising Lucifer (1654), Adam in ballingschap (1664; Adam in Exile, 1952), and Noah (1667). Lucifer, which is generally regarded as van den Vondel's masterpiece, treats the same theme as had John Milton: the inexplicable revolt of the angels against God. Meanwhile, van den Vondel's religious liberalism had gradually led him from Calvinism to Remonstrant views and eventually, at the age of 54, to the Roman Catholic Church, in which he found the peace of mind he sought in a universal faith.

      Van den Vondel was more than 60 years old before he reached his literary maturity. He had shown himself to be a master of the lyric, the ode and sonnet, the epic, the long religious poem, and the essay, but his dramatic tragedies, with their powerful and lyrical language and the grandeur of their conception, remain his most important literary achievement.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vondel, Joost van Den — • Netherland poet and convert (1587 1679) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Vondel, Joost van Den     Joost van Den Vondel …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Vondel, Joost van den — (17 nov. 1587, Colonia–5 feb. 1679, Amsterdam). Poeta y dramaturgo holandés. De padres menonitas, Vondel mostró desde temprano una marcada preferencia por la mitología cristiana como tema en la concepción de sus obras. También escribió poemas… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • VONDEL (J. Van den) — L’œuvre dramatique et poétique de Vondel représente, avec la peinture de Rembrandt, le moment baroque de l’«âge d’or» néerlandais, de ce XVIIe siècle qui, grâce à l’indépendance politique et religieuse récemment conquise et aux richesses d’outre… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Joost van den Vondel — (Philips Koninck, 1665) Joost van den Vondel (* 17. November 1587 in Köln; † 5. Februar 1679 in Amsterdam) war ein niederländischer Dichter und Dramatiker. Inhaltsve …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joost van Den Vondel —     Joost van Den Vondel     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Joost van Den Vondel     Netherland poet and convert, b. at Cologne, 17 Nov., 1587, of parents whose residence was originally at Antwerp; d. 5 Feb., 1679. Of his early youth nothing is known …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Joost Van Den Vondel — Joost van den Vondel est un écrivain, poète et dramaturge hollandais né à Cologne le 17 novembre 1587, mort à Amsterdam le 5 février …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joost van den vondel — Joost van den Vondel est un écrivain, poète et dramaturge hollandais né à Cologne le 17 novembre 1587, mort à Amsterdam le 5 février …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joost van den Vondel — Activités dramaturge Naissance 17 novembre 1587 Cologne Décès 5 février  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joost van den Vondel — (November 17, 1587 February 5, 1679) was a Dutch writer and playwright. BiographyVondel was born in the Große Witschgasse in Cologne, to Mennonite parents from Antwerpian descent. In 1595, probably because of their religious conviction, they fled …   Wikipedia

  • Joost van den Vondel — Retrato de Vondel por Philip de Koninck, 1665. Joost van den Vondel (Colonia, 17 de noviembre de 1587 – Ámsterdam, 5 de febrero de 1679) dramaturgo y poeta neerlandés, el más célebre del siglo de oro holandés. Vondel nació en la calle Grosse… …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.