Architectural Painting in the Netherlands

In keeping with Protestant doctrine, churches in the Northern Netherlands were typically devoid of paintings and sculpture and systematically whitewashed. Dutch artists, such as Pieter Saenredam, created a distinctive type of painting depicting these bare interiors with spare geometry and suffused light. In contrast, Flemish artists painted Roman Catholic church interiors full of devotional objects and religious ceremony. 

When depicting architecture, whether urban views or serene church interiors, artists constructed their paintings based on the careful application of perspective. While most artists prepared detailed studies, the finished works are often not accurate representations of reality. Some painters of church interiors excluded elements deemed compositionally unsuitable, such as pews and pulpits.

Brilliant effects of light and spatial illusionism ensured that 17th-century architectural paintings from the Northern and Southern Netherlands had an impact on artists and collectors well into the 19th century.

Paintings in this room

A View in Cologne
A View in Cologne
Jan van der Heyden
An Architectural Fantasy
An Architectural Fantasy
Jan van der Heyden
An Evening Service in a Church
An Evening Service in a Church
Pieter Neeffs the Elder and Bonaventura Peeters the Elder
The Courtyard of a Renaissance Palace
The Courtyard of a Renaissance Palace
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger
The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East
The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder
The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East
The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder
Croesus and Solon
Croesus and Solon
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger and Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder
 
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