Saenredam painted his view of the old town hall five years after it burned down in 1652 in a spectacular fire. He based his composition on a drawing he had made of the structure in 1641. Construction on a massive new town hall, seen in the photograph, was already underway on an adjoining site when the fire occurred. The building was completed in 1665 to much acclaim.

Pieter Saenredam (Dutch, 1597–1665), The Old Town Hall of Amsterdam, 1657
oil on panel, 65.5 x 84.5 cm (25 13/16 x 33 1/4 in.), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on loan from the City of Amsterdam
Contemporary photograph courtesy Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague