About this artwork

This view of the fine interior of Haarlem’s Gothic cathedral is one of Saenredam's greatest paintings. He made a series of at least eleven pictures showing it from a range of viewpoints, of which this is by far the largest. The National Gallery's work was based on a preliminary sketch and a more precise measured drawing which demonstrates his close study of the architecture, but also indicates that Saenredam exercised artistic licence in the finished picture. He deliberately distorted the proportions of the pillars and vault to increase the sense of monumental scale. He included his signature and the date on the left column, rather like graffiti, along with a scribbled sketch, possibly representing St Bavo and his falcon.

  • title:
    The Interior of St Bavo's Church, Haarlem (the 'Grote Kerk')
  • accession number:
    NG 2413
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • date created:
    1648
  • measurements:
    174.80 x 143.60 cm (framed: 230.50 x 172.00 x 6.20 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased by Private Treaty with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (William Leng Bequest) and the Pilgrim Trust 1982
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Pieter Jansz. Saenredam

Pieter Jansz. Saenredam