Pieter Saenredam

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pen and ink drawing of church interior, with pillars and arches

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.


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