Sunday, January 1, 2012

Volkje and Annetje Juriens (Jurriaens)

In 1639 Volkje Juriens (Jurriaens) married Jan Franz Van Husum, the first Van Huss in America.

But before that Volkje lived on the North Friesland island of Nordstrand with her parents and sister Annetje. The area along the western coastline of the Jutland peninsula was marchy and periodic floods laid down sediment. Eventually homes were built on mounds and dikes built to contain the flood waters. Because of the grass, cattle were raised, but geese and duck were also prevalent. Volkje was 16 years old in 1634. That was the year that a disasterous flood swept the island killing thousands including Volkje and Annetje's parents.

There are no images of either Volkje or Annetje, but one can imagine that they might have looked much like the Girl with the Pearl Earring, a painting by Dutch painter Jan Vanmeer, who lived from 1632 until 1675.

In 1639 Volkje would marry Jan Franz Van Husum. The same year, the two crossed the Atlantic and came to New Netherlands, settling in Rensselaerwyck in the small village of Beverwyck. Annetje would marry Andries Herbertz Constapel. All I know now is that he was at Renssalaerwyck from 1640 - 1662. See WMGS.

The Painting

Vermeer's painting of The Girl with the Pearl Earring can be seen in the Mauritshuis museum in the Hague. There is no date on the painting and the identity of the girl is unknown.

If you would like to read a little more about the painting and learn about the possible identities of the girl, go to the following article by Anna Holdsworth - Girl with the Pearl Earring. One can also read Tracy Chevalier's book of the same name for a good story of Dutch life in the 17th century.

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