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Gerrit Berckheyde has placed us among the citizens and the most important buildings of his native Haarlem, and a visitor to the market square today would find a view similar to the one in this painting of 1674. The Grote Kerk (Great Church), which is dedicated to Saint Bavo, dominates the composition and is bathed in strong sunlight. To the right of the square, the town’s meat market with its decorated stepped gable stands out among the neighbouring buildings. As a butcher’s son, Berckheyde would have been quite familiar with this mercantile institution. The colonnaded portico of Haarlem’s town hall takes up the right side of the townscape, and Berckheyde placed his signature on the base of the corner column.
Oil on canvas
H 51.8 x W 67 cm