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The Interior of the Church of St Catherine, Utrecht

Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (Assendelft 1597 - Haarlem 1665)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1660

Materials

Oil on panel (oak)

Measurements

1168 x 959 mm (46 x 37 3/4 in)

Place of origin

Utrecht

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Collection

Upton House, Warwickshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Long Gallery, Upton House, Midlands, National Trust

NT 446733

Caption

This striking piece by Saenredam of Utrecht Cathedral is one piece amongst Lord Bearsted's collection representing art from the Golden Age of Dutch painting.The figures in Saenredam’s pictures are sometimes by other artists, and it has been suggested that the figures in this picture are by Isaak van Nickelen. Saenredam was in Utrecht in 1636, when he made a number of highly sensitive drawings of the churches in that town. It was his custom to use these drawings at subsequent periods in his life in order to assist in working up cartoons. From these cartoons he produced his finished paintings. In view of this practice, it is difficult to date his work, but if this picture was finished by van Nickelen it seems conceivable that this work belongs to a late period in the artist’s life.

Summary

Oil painting on oak panel, The Interior of the Church of St Catherine, Utrecht by Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (Assendelft 1597 - Haarlem 1665), c.1660. The figures are possibly by another artist, Isaak van Nikelen. A view of the nave and left aisle of the church, looking towards the east end, with the choir beyond and a preacher and small congregation; two kneeling men are taking a rubbing from a stone in the left foreground and six figures are disposed about the nave and aisle. The Church of St Catherine, founded in 1470 for the Carmelites and completed in 1551 after being transferred to the knights of St John, was restored in the late nineteenth century, and is now the Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Cathedral.

Provenance

As suggested by Swillens, probably in the Johan Steyn Schepen sale (Haarlem, 28 April 1711). Hoet's description (Catalogus ... van Schilderyen, vol. I, 1752) of lot 14 in this sale is "De Sinte Catahrine Kerk tot Uytregt van Saanredam, door van Nikkelen gestoffert". The subsequent history until the appearance of the picture at Drouot, Paris, 1928, is untraced; thence with Duits, Amsterdam, and Goudstikker; Lord Bearsted by 1929; as suggested by Swillens (infra) probably in the Johan Steyn Schepen sale (Haarlem, 28 April 1711). Hoet's description (Catalogus ... van Schilderyen, vol. I, 1752) of lot 14 in this sale is De Sinte Catahrine Kerk tot Uytregt van Saanredam, door van Nikkelen gestoffert. The subsequent history until the appearance of the picture at Drouot, Paris, 1928, is untraced; thence with Duits, Amsterdam, and Goudstikker; Lord Bearsted by 1929; given with Upton House to the National Trust by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted (1882 – 1948), in 1948, shortly before his death

Credit line

Upton House, The Bearsted Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (Assendelft 1597 - Haarlem 1665), artist Isaak van Nickelen (d. 1703), artist

Exhibition history

The Bearsted Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1955, no.24

References

Swillens 1935 P. T. A. Swillens, Pieter Janszoon Saenredam, Amsterdam, 1935, p. 130, No. 222, Pl. 177 Jantzen 1910 H. Jantzen, Das Niederländische Architektturbild, Brunswick, 1910, pp. 168-69 Gudlauggsson 1954 S.J. Gudlaugsson, Aanvullingen omtrent Pieter Post's Werkzaamheid als Schilder', Oud Holland, LXIX, 1954, p. 66, note 15 Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses (exh. cat.), Holburne Museum, Bath 25 May - 16 Sep 2018; Mauritshuis, The Hague, 11 Oct 2018 - 6 Jan 2019; Petworth House, West Sussex, 26 Jan - 24 Mar 2019., pp. 162-6, no. 19

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