Creaking floorboards, smaller windows, plain walls – the top floor is much more modestly appointed than the imposing rooms on the piano nobile and the family’s rooms on the first floor.
This is where the servants’ quarters were. And the room straight ahead is identified as a “studio” on the historical ground plan. The room next to it on the right is labelled “Daiwaille”. Clearly Koekkoek had considered setting up extra work spaces for both his father-in-law and his brother-in-law.
Today, the top floor is reserved for special shows and temporary exhibitions.
In his mid-fifties, B.C. Koekkoek was a respected and highly successful artist – and then a stroke put a stop to his career. He was no longer able to work and confined himself from then on to sorting out and dating his drawings.
Barend Cornelis Koekkoek died three years later, on the 5th of April 1862. He was fifty-eight. That same year, he was granted a final honour. Koekkoek represented his home country, the Netherlands, at the Great Exhibition in London.
In addition to an extensive body of work, he left his Cleves property, consisting of the dwelling house, garden and studio. The model on this floor gives you a good idea of what it looked like: the patrician mansion overlooking what is now Koekkoek Square, the garden with its winding walks, and the Belvédère higher up on the slope.
This brings our audio tour of the mansion’s interior to an end. Please take the handsomely curved staircase and make your way back down.
However, you’re welcome to stay and visit the garden, where you can listen to two more commentaries. Please check the opening times with a member of staff.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. Thank you for listening! We look forward to seeing you again soon – here at the B.C. Koekkoek House.
Foto Treppenhaus: © Janusz Gruenspeck