VONDEL, Joostvan den

   Playwright and poet. Von del was born in Cologne, Germany, after his Anabaptist parents had fled the Counter-Reformationfrom Antwerp. In 1595, the family set tled in the Republic, moving in 1597 to Amsterdam. Vondel earned a living with a silk and hosiery shop first, and, after its bankruptcy, as a bank employee. He admired the classics and wrote many plays with classical and biblical themes, notably his masterpiece Lucifer (1654). His works were also filled with his ideas about contemporary politics and religious controversies. In his Palamedes oft vermoorde onnoosel heyd [Palamedes, or Murdered Innocence, 1625], and in poems such as “Op de Hollantsche transformatie” [On the Latest Dutch Transformation, 1618] and the famous “Het stockske van Oldenbarnevelt” [The Cane of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt,1657], he sided against the orthodox Calvinist stadtholder Maurice in favor of the Arminian grand pen sionary Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. Vondel argued for religious tol erance. In his play Gijsbrecht van Aemstel (1637), he showed sympa thy for the Roman Catholic Church. His open conversion to this denomination in 1641 made him unpopular within the Calvinist elite.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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