An Architectural Fantasy

The fountain in the foreground is surmounted by a statue of Hercules fighting Hydra. Two of the other statues may represent Mercury and Minerva. The elegantly dressed figures are by another painter, perhaps Jan Olis (about 1610 - 1676) or Anthonie Palamedesz. (1601 - 1673).

This type of finely executed painting, representing a fanciful architectural setting, carefully constructed according to perspectival rules and populated with very elegantly dressed people, was probably painted for aristocratic and courtly patrons connected with the Court of Orange in the Netherlands. Van Delen painted imaginary architecture, particularly church interiors and palaces, in a style influenced by that of Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger (died 1649).

Key facts

Artist dates
1604/5 - 1671
Full title
An Architectural Fantasy
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on mahogany
46.7 x 60.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number
Location in Gallery