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Follower of Bartholomeus van Bassen, Interior of a Church

Key facts
Full title Interior of a Church
Artist Follower of Bartholomeus van Bassen
Artist dates active 1613; died 1652
Date made possibly 1644
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 68.5 × 98.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by (Sir) Henry H. Howorth, 1875
Inventory number NG924
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Interior of a Church
Follower of Bartholomeus van Bassen

We stand inside a church, although it is not clear which one; the picture is attributed to a follower of Bartholomeus van Bassen, who specialised in painting both real and fictional architecture. Van Bassen was appointed the official city architect of the The Hague in 1638, a role which no doubt inspired the paintings that he and his followers made.

This painting was previously attributed to Pieter Neeffs the Elder, whose name appears at the bottom of a lengthy inscription above the lavish tomb on the right, together with the date 1644. This signature has since been identified as a forgery, although the date might be accurate; its placement might have been prompted by the sumptuously dressed man pointing his cane towards the inscription. He is one of a number of figures who animates this scene, together with multiple dogs. If the interior was painted by Van Bassen himself, the figures would have been added by a different artist.

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