Pieter Jansz Saenredam
Pieter Jansz Saenredam Gallery
Saenredam was the son of the print maker and draughtsman Jan Pietersz Saenredam (1565-1607), who was born in Zaandam or, in those days, Saenredam. In 1612 he moved to Haarlem, where he became a pupil of Frans de Grebber and lived the rest of his life.
A contemporary of Rembrandt, he is noted chiefly for his surprisingly modern paintings of churches. Saenredam achieved this modern look by meticulously measuring and making sketches of the churches he wanted to paint. He would make these sketches in pencil, pen, and chalk, then and add in water colors to help give the sketch texture and color. The sketches are very architectural in detail, they convey the interior atmosphere through the clever use of light and graduated shadows. Saenredam often deliberately left people out of his work, thus also focusing more attention on buildings and their architectural forms. Only after having made precise measurements, and precise sketches and drawings of the churches, he would take them to his studio where he started to create his paintings.
The Reformation led to a rise in Protestant art, of which Saenredam??s Interior of the St. Martin's Dom in Utrecht is an example. As a Catholic church the Dom had been built with adornments. Then, in the epoch of the Eighty Years War and with the church getting in Protestant hands, it was ??cleaned?? of Catholic influences. The altarpieces and statuary were removed, and the walls and ceiling were white washed. The painting shows the church not long after its make-over. The sparse interior with illuminated corridors reflect Protestant ideals, new for Saenredam's time.
Alternatively, the paintings of church interiors by Saenredam and other 17th century Dutch painters have been interpreted as having less to do with religion and more with the new-found interest in perspective and with the Dutch interpretation (known as Dutch Classicism) of Palladio??s theories of proportion, balance and symmetry.
In any case, Saenredam wanted to memorialize his country during this time of change by documenting many of the country??s buildings. Many artists before him had specialized in imaginary and fanciful architecture, but Saenredam was the first to focus on existing buildings. According to the J. Paul Getty Trust ??Saenredam??s church paintings??owe their poetry to his remarkable blend of fact and fiction. He began by making site drawings of buildings that record measurements and detail with archaeological thoroughness.?? This meticulous preparation helped him to create such accurate and enchanting paintings. The measurements aided him in using scientific linear perspective, just like Andrea Pozzo. He was able to use his measurements to create a realistic image with depth.
The Utrecht Archives houses a large number of Saenredam's drawings. In the season 2000-2001 the Centraal Museum at Utrecht held a major exhibition of his drawings and paintings. Perhaps his best known works are a pair of oil paintings both titled Interior of the Buurkerk, Utrecht. One hangs in London's National Gallery, the other in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In their simplicity and semi-abstract formalism, they foreshadow more modern works such as those of Mondrian and Feininger. Related Paintings of Pieter Jansz Saenredam :. | Church Interior in Utrecht | St Mary's Square and St Mary's Church at Utrecht | The Buurkerk at Utrecht | Church Interior in Utrecht | The Old Town Hall in Amsterdam |
Related Artists:Lemmen, Georges
Belgian Art Nouveau Painter, 1865-1916
Belgian painter and decorative artist. He showed a precocious talent, first exhibiting in 1875. His only formal study was at a local school of drawing. Between 1884 and 1886 he showed at the Essor group in Brussels paintings that were based on Derer and Holbein and closely related to those of Lemmen's contemporary, Khnopff. When Lemmen became a member of Les XX in 1888 his style developed quickly, influenced principally by French Neo-Impressionism and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Lemmen adopted the pointillist technique following Seurat's first showing with Les XX in 1887. His best pointillist canvases include The Carousel (1890-91; Toulon, Mme Thevenin-Lemmen priv. col., see Belgian Art, 1880-1914, exh. cat., New York, Brooklyn Jean Portaels
Vilvorde, 1818 - Schaerbeek, 1895
was a Belgian orientalist painter and director of the Academy of Brussels. His father, a rich brewer, sent him to study at the Brussels Academy, whose Director, François Navez, took him on soon after in his own workshop. About 1841 Portaels went to Paris, where he was well received by Paul Delaroche. After his return to Belgium, he won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1842. He then travelled through Italy, Greece, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, the Lebanon, Judaea, Spain, Hungary and Norway. On his return to Belgium in 1847 Portaels succeeded H. Vanderhaert as Director of the Academy in Ghent. In 1849 he married the daughter of his first teacher, Navez, and in 1850 he settled in Brussels; but when he did not get the post of Director of the Brussels academy, and wished, nevertheless, to carry on teaching as his father-in-law had done, he opened a private studio-school, which became one of great significance in the development of Belgian art. Once more he went on his travels, spending time in Morocco; he returned to Brussels in 1874, and in 1878 became Director of the Academy which had so long been the object of his ambition. Portaels was an extremely prolific artist. Huge oil paintings adorning the walls of St Jacques-sur-Caudenberg; biblical scenes, such as The Daughter of Sion Reviled, The Death of Judas, The Magi travelling to Bethlehem, Judiths Prayer, and The Drought in Judaea; genre pictures, such as A Box in the Theatre at Budapest , portraits of officials and of high society, Oriental scenes and, above all, pictures of exotic female figures and exotic life. "His work is usually marked by an easy grace, which he perhaps uses to excess", wrote Theophile Gautier. But his pleasing and abundant productions as a painter do not constitute Portaels' crowning merit. Vleughels Nicolas
French , b Paris, 6 Dec 1668; d Rome, 11 Dec 1737