Universiteit Leiden

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Heino van Rijnberk

PhD candidate

H. van Rijnberk MA
+31 71 527 2727

Heino van Rijnberk is an external PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Heino van Rijnberk

Fields of interest

  • Art History 
  • Architectural History 
  • Religion and Art 
  • Church Architecture 
  • Garden History 
  • Art and Ritual


My research focuses on the architectural and material settings of the funeral of Queen Mary II (1662–1694), created in her honour in London in 1695 under the supervision of the architect Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723).

Despite the Queen wishing herself a modest farewell, her funeral was staged on a grand scale, not only becoming one of the most elaborate royal funerals Westminster had ever seen with great public impact, but also the last of its kind. Still, art historians seem to have overlooked it. This funeral was one of the grandest and costliest in British history; its price largely resulted from expenditures on outward design, for which England’s top artists were mustered, including architect Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736), wood sculptor Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721) and, of course, Sir Christopher himself. Together these architects and artists transformed the Palace of Whitehall, Westminster Abbey, and the streets in between into lavish settings to bid farewell to a royal. They created stages for displays of magnificent mourning, and mourning magnificence, into which regal splendour, protestant religiosity, and great loss were intricately woven. It is now generally accepted that this was also a political statement, promoting the ambitions of the Dutch widower, King-Stadtholder William III (1650–1702), now solely on the English throne. But is this an accurate assessment? If there was indeed more behind the material settings than provision for the customary stages for royal grief, and that indeed the King’s propaganda materialized in Mary’s funeral settings, how was this done, by architects and artists, using art? This research aims for full reconstructions of the architectural and material settings of Queen Mary II’s funeral and the intentions behind them, and then examines these in the conceptual light of the theatricality of art.

PhD supervisors

Prof. Dr. Jeroen F.J. Duindam 
Dr. Juliette G. Roding 


I studied Horticulture and Business Administration at Wageningen University, and Art History at Leiden University. In 2014 I obtained a BA in Art History (cum laude) and in 2016 an MA in Architectural History (summa cum laude).

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Architectuurgeschiedenis
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