National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Cathedral of Saint John at 's-Hertogenbosch Pieter Jansz Saenredam (artist)
Dutch, 1597 - 1665
Cathedral of Saint John at 's-Hertogenbosch, 1646
oil on panel
overall: 128.9 x 87 cm (50 3/4 x 34 1/4 in.) framed: 168.3 x 127 cm (66 1/4 x 50 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1961.9.33
On View
From the Tour: Dutch Landscapes and Seascapes of the 1600s
Object 8 of 8

Conservation Notes

The cradled support panel is composed of three vertically grained oak boards. Dendrochronology gives a felling date of approximately 1630 for all three boards.[1] Board widths are roughly equal at left and center and slightly narrower at right. Several checks exist at top and bottom, and gouges, some fairly deep, are found along the edges and in an intermittent horizontal band across the center.

Infrared reflectography reveals a detailed fine-line underdrawing apparently based upon a preliminary construction drawing. Minor changes appear in the spear held by the sculpted figure at the far right, in the statue to the right of center, and in the arc of the ribs in the vault.

Paint is applied thinly, in transparent washes, thin glazes, and fine brushwork that leave the thin off-white ground layer and architectural underdrawing plainly visible. Scattered small losses indicate a history of flaking. Abrasion is found overall, particularly in the stone floor, the pilaster and engaged statue to the right of the altar, and the pilaster to the left of the altar. Conservation was carried out in 1987-1990 to remove discolored varnish and retouchings and accurately reconstruct abraded passages.


[1] Dendrochronology by Dr. Peter Klein, Universität Hamburg, 27 January 1987.

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