Dutch, 1597 - 1665
Pieter Jansz Saenredam was born in the village of Assendelft on June 9, 1597. His father,
Although Saenredam is not recorded as ever having studied with a specialist architectural painter, his interest in architecture may have been encouraged by various painter-architects active in Haarlem, most notably Salomon de Bray (1597–1664), Jacob van Campen (1595–1657), and
The two main churches of Haarlem—Saint Bavo and the Nieuwe Kerk—were among Saenredam’s favorite subjects, although he also painted churches and cathedrals in a number of other cities, including ’s-Hertogenbosch, Assendelft, Alkmaar, Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Rhenen. His representations of these and other buildings have a portraitlike quality. They were based on preliminary drawings made at the site and elaborate construction drawings made subsequently with the help of straightedge rulers and compasses. In these drawings Saenredam worked out the proportions of columns and arches and the overall perspective system. Interestingly, his paintings often date years later than the drawings upon which they are based. As in the instance of his painting of the
Saenredam married Aefje Gerritsdr on December 5, 1638, at Bloemendael. He and his wife had one daughter. Saenredam, who had extensive archaeological interests, owned an impressive library of scholarly works as well as a collection of paintings and drawings, which included an album of views of Rome by the sixteenth-century Haarlem artist
 Cornelis de Bie, Het Gulden Cabinet van de edele vry schilderconst (Antwerp, 1661), 246: “ende bagaf hem eyndelijck ontrent den jaere 1628. gheheel tot schilderen van perspectiven / kercken /saelen / galderijen / ghebowen / en andere dinghen soo van buyten als van binnen soo naer het leven ende natuer gheen meeder volmaecktheydt en konnen bethooen als hy met Pinceel seer constich weet uyt te drucken.”
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.
April 24, 2014