The Haarlem Lock ('Haarlemmersluis') and the Herring-Packers' Tower ('Haaringpakkerstoren') are seen from the west side of the Singel Canal, at its junction with the Brouwersgracht. None of the buildings shown has survived. The tower was part of the town's fortifications and dated from the 15th century; its spire was added at the beginning of the 17th century. The view shows the area before alterations of 1661-2, but may have been painted later. Hobbema was living in the Haarlemmerdijk, the corner of which is shown here in the left background, by late 1668.

The painting is the only known townscape by Hobbema. Thus the lack of comparable works makes dating the picture difficult; a date of about 1663-5 has been suggested.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1638 - 1709
Full title
The Haarlem Lock, Amsterdam
Date made
about 1663-5
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
77 x 98 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Miss Beatrice Mildmay, 1953
Inventory number
NG6138
Location in Gallery