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Between 1634 and 1637, Saenredam made a series of views of the interior of the Grote Kerk (or the Cathedral of St Bavo) in Haarlem, the city where he lived and worked – this is one of them.
He did, however, make significant adjustments to the final painting, usually to emphasise the grandeur of a building. By examining surviving drawings and comparing them with the painting, we can see that he significantly exaggerated the size of the foreground columns and deepened the spaces we can see through the arches. As a result the church appears much more monumental, with massive columns and distant vistas.
The Interior of the Grote Kerk at Haarlem
Oil on oak
H 59.5 x W 81.7 cm
Salting Bequest, 1910