Skip to content

Roever, Nicolaas de

    Full Name: Roever, Nicolaas de

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1850

    Date Died: 1893

    Place Born: Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

    Place Died: Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

    Home Country/ies: Netherlands


    Co-founder with Adrianus Daniël de Vries of the art periodical Oud Holland, 1883. De Roever was the son of Andries de Roever and Anna Maria Louise Elisabeth Kluytenaar. After his primary education, he served, from 1867 to 1869, at the office of notary A. A. J. Schouten. Between 1871 and 1877 he studied law, first at the Athenaeum Illustre in Amsterdam (the predecessor of the University of Amsterdam), where met a fellow pre-law student Adrianus Daniël de Vries. He later attended Leiden University and finally at the University of Utrecht. After his graduation, in 1877, he was appointed assistant archivist of Amsterdam. In 1878 he earned his doctoral degree from Utrecht University with a dissertation on the Amsterdam Orphans’ Court, De Amsterdamsche Weeskamer. The same year he was sworn in as an Advocate (defense lawyer). In addition, in 1882, he became lecturer in Old Dutch Law at the University of Amsterdam. In 1882 he married Johanna Louise van der Goes. He was appointed city archivist of Amsterdam in 1885, a position he held until his death in 1893. Roever had a special interest in the social and economic history of Amsterdam, and in the artistic heritage of the city. He broadened the drawings and prints collection of the Historisch-Topografische Atlas of Amsterdam. With his friend, de Vries, now Amsterdam Rijksprentenkabinet (National Print room), de Roever wrote the catalog for the 1880 exhibition of gold- and silverware held in “Arti et Amicitiae” in Amsterdam. They were the co-founders, in 1883, of the periodical Oud-Holland, which specialized in archival information concerning Dutch art, literature, industry, etc. After De Vries’ death in 1884, Abraham Bredius joined as co-editor in 1886. De Roever’s writing focused mainly on social history, trade and the applied arts. With Bredius, he published a series on the life of Rembrandt, “Rembrandt, nieuwe bijdragen tot zijne levensgeschiedenis” (Rembrandt, New Contributions to the History of his Life). Bredius’ work for the magazine added a standard of excellence during his sixty year service. De Roever also edited the periodical Amsterdamsch Jaarboekje between 1888 and 1891. He collected and reworked his contributions to the weekly De Amsterdammer into Onze oude Amstelstad in four installments. He served as secretary of the Vereeniging Rembrandt and of the Supervisory Committee of the newly built Rijksmuseum. The Gothic style in which the Museum was finally built, with its connotations of medievalism and Catholicism, caused controversy. His disagreements with Victor Eugène Louis de Stuers, the head of the Department of Art and Sciences of the Ministry of the Interior over the building of the Rijksmuseum were public and summarized in his Het schijnconcours voor ‘s Rijks-Museum. In 1892 De Roever traveled to Germany and Austria with Adriaan Willem Weissman (1858-1927), the architect of the Municipal Museum of Amsterdam (founded in 1885), to study museum design abroad. De Roever’s wife died before his return; he suddenly died a year later, in 1893.

    Selected Bibliography

    [complete bibliography:] Veder, W. R. “De Roever’s geschriften.” in Jaarboek Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde 1893: pp. 388-399; [dissertation:] De Amsterdamsche Weeskamer. Amsterdam: De Roever- Kröber-Bakels, 1878; and De Vries, A. D. Catalogus van de tentoonstelling van kunstvoorwerpen in vroegere eeuwen uit edele metalen vervaardigd. Amsterdam: Van Munster, 1880; Onze oude Amstelstad. Schetsen en tafereelen betreffende de geschiedenis der veste, het leven en de zeden harer vroegere bewoners. Amsterdam: S. L. Van Looy, 1890-1897; Van vrijen en trouwen. Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van oud-vaderlandsche zeden. Haarlem: De Erven F. Bohn, 1891; Het schijnconcours voor ‘s Rijks-Museum: de waarheid volgehouden tegen Jhr. Mr. Victor de Stuers. Amsterdam: S. L. van Looy, 1892.


    Bredius, Abraham. “In memoriam Mr. N. De Roever. Geboren 3 December 1850, Overleden 11 Maart 1893” Oud Holland 11 (1893): 1-6; Veder, W. R. “Levensbericht van Mr. Nicolaas de Roever” Jaarboek Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde 1893: pp. 369-399; Van Thiel, P. J. J. “Oud Holland over the past hundred years” Oud Holland 100 (1986). Index to Oud Holland. The First 100 Years, 1883-1982. pp. 2-13.

    Contributors: Monique Daniels


    Monique Daniels. "Roever, Nicolaas de." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: