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Imitator of Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger, Interior of a Church at Night

Key facts
Full title Interior of a Church at Night
Artist Imitator of Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger
Artist dates active by 1604; died 1649
Date made 1632
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 47.1 × 65.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Henry Callcott Brunning, 1907
Inventory number NG2205
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Interior of a Church at Night
Imitator of Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger

It is night-time, and we are looking into the dimly lit apse of a Catholic church. An elaborate metal baptismal font stands on red marble steps in the foreground; the column next to it is a font crane, which supports the font cover. There are still several visitors in the church and the side chapels are brightly lit, although an acolyte is putting out the candles in the chapel on the right.

An inscription on the tombstone in the foreground reads ‘Here lies entombed Henry Steenwyck’, the name of a Flemish painter who specialised in church interiors. As it bears the numbers ‘632’, presumably the last digits of the date 1632, the grave cannot be that of the painter Hendrick Steenwyck the Younger, who died in 1649. The inscription might have been intended as a signature, but the painting’s quality suggests that this is the work of an imitator.

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