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Currently shown
Jan van der Heyden

View of the Groote Kerk, or the Church of Our Lady, in the Town of Veere, Zeeland

Artist

Jan van der Heyden
Gorinchem 1637 – Amsterdam 1712

Title

View of the Groote Kerk, or the Church of Our Lady, in the Town of Veere, Zeeland

Date

About 1660-1670

Materials

Oil on wood

Dimensions

29.3 x 33.8 cm

Credits

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2015.26

Collection

Western Art

A remarkably versatile man, Van der Heyden was one of the pioneers of urban landscape painting in seventeenth-century Holland. Despite his achievements as an artist, however, this Dutch Leonardo da Vinci was mainly known as an inventor and engineer; he designed a modernistic street-lighting system and invented a fire engine with pump-driven hoses. His depictions of canals, churches, public squares, and stately homes showing tremendous attention to detail, he was the first Dutch artist to capture all the beauty of urban scenes. Van der Heyden painted Veere’s Groote Kerk (great church), built between 1348 and 1521 and a landmark building in Zeeland, at least seven times. Here it is shown from the other side of a canal, flanked by clumps of trees. Passers-by come and go on the square, and swimmers enjoy themselves in the water; a young man sits astride one of the tree trunks strewn over the banks of the canal, not far from where a small boat is moored. Van der Heyden did not execute a topographical rendering of the place. An examination of the various paintings he made of the Veere church shows to what extent he reused a motif and adapted it in a fanciful manner.

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