The Interior of the Grote Kerk at Haarlem

This painting is a relatively early work, dating from 1637; Saenredam made a preliminary drawing, dated 29 May 1636, and a cartoon, of which the left part survives. On the cartoon Saenredam mentions that the painting was finished in 1637.

This view shows the interior of the Grote Kerk seen from the north side of the choir, a little to the east of the north transept. Saenredam subtly altered the perspective to create effects of greater spaciousness and luminosity, e.g. in the cartoon the columns of the choir, in the foreground, appear taller than they are in reality. The church is also represented in two paintings in the Collection by Gerrit Berckheyde: 'The Market Place and the Grote Kerk at Haarlem' and 'The Interior of the Grote Kerk, Haarlem'.

Saenredam was one of the most famous Dutch architectural painters, and became known for his subtle handling of light playing across different architectural forms and white-washed walls.

Key facts

Artist dates
1597 - 1665
Full title
The Interior of the Grote Kerk at Haarlem
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on oak
59.5 x 81.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery