Maria Tesselschade Visscher

Maria Tesselschade Roemers Visscher, also called Maria Tesselschade Roemersdochter Visscher or Tesselschade (March 25, 1594 June 20, 1649) was a Dutch poet and engraver.

Maria Tesselschade Visscher
Maria Tesselschade Roemers Visscher

(1594-03-25)March 25, 1594
DiedJune 20, 1649(1649-06-20) (aged 55)
Known forPoetry
MovementDutch Golden Age
Spouse(s)Allard Crombalch (1623-1634)


Tesselschade was born in Amsterdam, the youngest of three daughters of poet and humanist Roemer Visscher.[1] She was given the name Tesselschade ("Damage on Tessel"), because her father lost ships near the Dutch island Texel on Christmas Eve 1593, three months before her birth, to remember that 'worldly wealth could be gone instantly.'

She and her sister Anna Visscher were the only women members of the Muiderkring, the group of Dutch Golden Age intellectuals who met at Muiden Castle. She is often characterised as a muse of the group and attracted the admiration of its members, such as its organiser Hooft, Huygens, Barlaeus, Bredero, Heinsius, Vondel and Jacob Cats.

In their correspondence, she is described as attractive, musically talented, and a skilled translator and commentator from French and Italian.[2] They also praised her skill at singing, painting, carving, etching on glass and tapestry work.[3] The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam has an example of her engraving work, a römer drinking glass engraved with the motto Sic Soleo Amicos ("this is how I treat my friends").[4]

In 1623, she married a ship's officer, Allard Crombalch. After he died in 1634, Huygens and Barlaeus proposed marriage to her, offers she rejected.

In remembrance of Tesselschade there are several streets named after her, such as the Tesselschadestraat or Tesselschadelaan in Alkmaar, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Zwolle, Leiden and Leeuwarden.


  1. "MARIA TESSELSCHADE ROEMER VISSCHER (1593-1649)". Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies. Issue XI, 1990.
  2. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Simon Schama, HarperCollins, 1987, ISBN 0-00-217801-X
  3. History of Holland, George Edmundson, Cambridge University Press, 1922 ebook, Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Roemer, Anonymous, c. 1625 - c. 1650". Rijksmuseum.

Further reading

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