Pieter Langendijk

(1683 - 1756)

Biography of Pieter Langendijk

Pieter Langendijk poet

Pieter Langendijk (Haarlem, 25 July 1683 – Haarlem, 9 or 18 July 1756) was a damask weaver, city artist, dramatist, and poet.

Pieter was the son of Arend Kort, a mason born in Langedijk. His father died in 1689 so he temporarily came under the protection of the Amsterdam poet William Sewell. In 1695, they moved to the Hague and his mother began a linen business. Pieter became a weaver and pattern draughtsman and joined artist circles, where he began to write poetry.

Around 1708 Pieter took a course in drawing and painting with Frans van Steenwijk. On his 28th birthday his Don Quichot op de Bruiloft van Kamacho appeared. It proved a success and began a permanent run at the Schouwberg of Van Campen. The farces De zwetser and The mutual marriage-deception appeared the next year.

Pieter wrote yet more comedies in the style of Molière, who he also translated and wrote about. With Hermanus Angelkot, he wrote Cato, dedicated to the mayor Nicolaes Witsen. Quincampoix, or the gamblers on the Stock Exchange became very famous, written in the notorious year 1720 that John Law ruined many investors in Paris. Arlequin Actionist was a commedia dell'arte farce on the stockjobbery, one act long, with a real fight, dance and music.

In 1721 he became "Factor" of the Haarlem Society Trou Moet Blycken and he moved back to Haarlem with his mother in 1722. In the same year he was appointed as city-artist to Haarlem, and wrote yearly poems for the city from 1724-1744. He had a house outside the city, while he could still get out the city. After his mother died in 1727, he married a sickly and moody woman who died eleven years later. In 1747, he had to sell a large part of its books and possessions. Pieter lived in Haarlem's Proveniershuis, where he was given free accommodation in return for writing a history of the city. The previous description of the city was from 1628, written by Samuel Ampzing. On his sickbed he wanted to be baptized at home, and "only five days did Pieter survive after this religious performance..."

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