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Who were the friends?

Hooft’s friends are famous artists, writers, poets, scientists, political figures, and government officials. They included Constantijn Huygens, Hugo de Groot, Joost van den Vondel, Gerbrand Bredero, Gerardus Vossius, Caspar van Baerle, and Roemer Pieterszoon Visscher and his daughters Anna and Maria Tesselschade.

Maria Tesselschade

Maria Tesselschade often spent time at Muiderslot castle. An intelligent and modern woman, her modern education meant she was knowledgeable about literature and spoke French, Italian, and some Latin. She paints, writes poetry, plays several instruments, and is talented at glass engraving and floral arrangement. Inspired by Maria, Hooft writes many poems and (love) letters. She was nicknamed the Muiderkring’s Muse.

Made-up story

Sadly the story of the Muiderkring was made up… The truth is that the friends never stayed at Muiderslot castle at the same time. They did come and visit Hooft but their visits never coincided and covered a long period of time. This romantic view of the group of friends emerged in the 19th century. This is also when the paintings of the Muiderkring that are still on display in the Knights’ Hall at Muiderslot castle, were made.

Modern Muiderkring

In 1954, a new Muiderkring was founded that still exists. The Muiderkring consists of seven departments with seven members each, which are active in seven domains: literature and poetry, history, theater, music, plastic arts, government, and business. The members meet twice every year in the Knights’ Hall of Muiderslot castle. The gatherings involve readings, performances, and dinner.