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|