Pieter Saenredam

Pieter Saenredam (1597–1665)
The South Ambulatory of St. Bavokerk, Haarlem
Pen and brown ink with gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

Saenredam planned his many paintings of church interiors in drawings, usually beginning with a freehand sketch. This characteristic example presents the south ambulatory of Haarlem's gothic church viewed from the central crossing of the nave. Using the blue paper as a midtone, the artist adds touches of white to capture the play of light on the bare stone surfaces. He includes a single figure to convey the scale of the imposing space.