On a blind wall of the former Wilhelmina Gasthuis hospital on the Tweede Constantijn Huygensstraat you can see a mural called Huygenika, made by Uri Martinez and Irene Lopez Leon. Uri (1983) is a painter from Barcelona, best known as Uriginal, who mixes details from historical artworks with modern elements.
The city borough Amsterdam-West held a contest for their art route between the City Center and the Amsterdam Nieuw-West borough. Uriginal was invited by Anna Stolyarova, director of the Street Art Museum Amsterdam foundation. The mural was created in January 2018.
Uri and Irene used parts of Picasso’s Guernica painting (from 1937), mixed with portraits of Dutch historical people. From left to right you see Frederik Hendrik of Orange, Constantijn Huygens, Susanna van Baerle (wife of Constantijn Hugens) and Christiaan Huygens (their second son). Also depicted are the planet Saturn and a swan (a bird often seen in the nearby Jacob van Lennepkanaal).
Frederik Hendrik of Orange
Frederik Hendrik (1584-1647), sovereign prince of Orange and count of Nassau, was stadholder, captain-general and admiral-general of the Dutch Republic. Because of his succesful sieges he was given the nickname “Conqueror of Towns”. During his entire life the Republic was embroiled in the so-called Eighty Year War with Spain. During his reign he also had to deal with an internal conflict between Remonstrant and Counter-Remonstrant Protestants. One year after his death the Peace of Münster ended the war with Spain. He had big palaces built, had an extensive art collection and threw exuberant parties.
Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) was a Dutch poet, diplomat, scholar, composer and architect. Huygens also was secretary to two Princes of Orange, one of them Frederik Hendrik. He was father to statesman and physicist Constantijn Huygens Jr. and the genius physicist and mathematician Christiaan Huygens. Huygens played several musical instruments for which he wrote a large number of works. He thought his music was much more important then his literary works, which were, in his own words, “written in his rare spare time”.
Susanna van Baerle
Susanna van Baerle or Susanna Huygens (1599–1637) was the daughter of wealthy merchant Jan van Baerle. She is known for the book-long poem Dagh-Werck, written in close collaboration with her husband, Constantijn Huygens, who referred to their marriage as “two minds joined in a single mind”. Even French-born philosopher, mathematician, and scientist René Descartes (1596–1650) highly valued her intellect and judgement. Susanna died in 1637 shortly after the birth of her youngest child. Constantijn Huygens lived for almost another 50 years, but did not remarry.
Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) was a prominent Dutch mathematician, physicist, astronomer, inventor and writer. He was one of the leading figures in seventeenth-century science. In astronomy, Huygens contributed by further developing the telescope and explaining the hitherto misunderstood appearance of Saturn as a planet with rings. As an inventor he has the pendulum clock, the principle of the steam engine and a gunpowder engine to his name. Because of his speculations about alien life, Huygens is also seen as an early science fiction author.
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