(Haarlem 1620-1683 Amsterdam)
View of Loenen aan de Vecht, with Kronenburg castle
Canvas, 91.3 x 114.5 cm; signed
Acquired in 1956; inv. 6811
This landscape is an exception in the work of Nicolaes Berchem. Primarily a painter of imaginary Italianate landscapes, he offers here a view of the Netherlands in fine topographical detail: it shows the medieval castle in the small town of Loenen, near Utrecht. The exceptional nature of this painting suggests that it was a commission. It was probably executed in the late 1650s, after Berchem’s trip to Germany with Jacob van Ruisdael; this experience, and his companion, inspired in Berchem an interest in topography. The signature is of the type the artist used after 1656.