This website has been selected for Web Archiving by The Hague's Royal Library as it represents a valuable aspect of Dutch cultural heritage.

Radley College real tennis court
Radley College real tennis court
The court where the current Dutch RTA Championships are held

Welcome to the Dutch RTA's new and improved website. This site deals with The Royal Game of Tennis, the forerunner of our present game of tennis, especially the game of Pallacorda as it was played at the Italian Renaissance Courts (between c.1470-1700). A new feature of the site is an overview of courts, past and present, spread over different countries in Europe.

Caravaggio's Ill-Fated Tennis Match
An Inquiriy into a Painting

After some nine years of research into The Death of Hyacinth painting an increasing number of art scholars that I contact for their opinion tend to support my interpretation that the production of the picture was sparked by Caravaggio’s famous tennis match of 1606.

Follow me on this quest for the hidden identity of the painting. The story will be “served” out to you in sequels, unfolding itself as a whodunit, and following a trail that is full of twists and turns.

I am trying to follow the footsteps of Gérard Douffet, the probable painter of our Death of Hyacinth picture. However, Louis Abry in his description of Douffet’s stay in Rome and Venice (the only account we possess for the painter’s activities in Italy) has saddled us with such mysterious allusions as ‘Le Peintre du Cardinal de Medicis’ and ‘Le Peintre du cardinal de ce nom’. He also threw in some other seemingly indistinguishable identities for patrons in Italy of Douffet for good measure. I am biding for time, aiming to disentangle Abry’s web of enigmatic names, but will certainly not allow my inquiry to turn into a ‘cold case’. Please bear with me. Meanwhile the Rome Pallacorda database has been updated, including an overview of the public tennis courts Caravaggio and his friends played on.

Click here for more.

Database of 30 Tennis (Pallacorda) Courts in Rome (1500-1800)

"Work in progress"
First part is now available, click here for more.

Nederlandse Real Tennis Bond