Jan de Bray: Regents of the orphanage in Haarlem (1663)

(Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem, The Netherlands)

Another Regents group portrait, this time from the Dutch painter Jan Salomonsz de Bray (1627-1697). Originally Haarlem had 1 orphanage (the Holy Spirithome, or in dutch 'Het Heilige Geesthuis') but as the numbers of orphans in Haarlem rose (caused by wars and infectious diseases), the city counsel decided to open another orphanage in 1656 - the 'House for poor children' (Dutch is 'Arme Kinderhuis'). The former monastary of Mary Magdalene in the Magdalenastraat in Haarlem was used to house this new orphanage for 600 orphans. the men on this painting are the board-of-directors (called regents) of this new orphanage. The regents were also called the 'buitenvaders' (literally 'outside fathers'), they handled the financial business and the overal policy of the orphanage. The Holy spirit home and the house for poor children were financially supported with several urban taxes and the raising for certain excises. The daily affairs of the orphanage was handled by so-called 'binnenvaders' and/ or 'binnenmoeders' (literally 'inside fathers' and 'inside mothers'). Present on the painting are (from left to right):

- Francois Palm (?-1682), merchant, regent of the orphanage, regent of the almonershome in Haarlem
- Teunis Cornelisse, binnenvader of the orphanage
- Cornelis Sylvius (?-1685), regent of the orphanage, regent of the Old Men's Home, deacon, member of the city council of Haarlem, mayor of Haarlem, 
- Pieter de Ridder (? - 1670/1671), merchant and regent of the orphanage
- Cornelis van Loon (?-1706), merchant, regent of the orphanage, captain of the Saint George civic guard of Haarlem, treasurer of the city's poor
- Dirk Damius (1628-1680), merchant, regent of the orphanage, member of the city council of Haarlem, captain of the Saint George civic guard of Haarlem, churchmaster, member of the hoogheemraad of Kennemerland

Painting from 1663.

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