(Assendelft 1597-1665 Haarlem)
Choir of the church of St Bavo in Haarlem, seen from the Kerstkapel
Panel, 49 x 36.6 cm; signed and dated 1636
Acquired in 1919; inv. 396
The Haarlem painter, who specialised in church paintings, depicted the church of St Bavo in his home town in no fewer than twelve paintings and twenty-seven drawings. The interior is very sober: the decoration in this medieval Catholic church was removed or whitewashed after the Reformation. In the painter’s compositions the figures are secondary to the architecture, which he depicts with masterly illusionism. While he drew the building from life and took precise measurements of it, he would rework the composition in the studio to make it more visually powerful.