barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Emanuel de Witte (about 1615-1691/2)

The Interior of the Old Church, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, probably the 1680s

Oil on canvas

 

De Witte painted over forty views of the Old Church in Amsterdam, including others taken from this viewpoint by the side entrance at the west end. 

From here, with the sun shining from behind, a man casts a prominent shadow towards the preacher and his congregation.  Above, shadows from the high windows appear on the opposite wall, enhancing the complex play of light and shade, volume and void.

The artist specialised in architectural subjects, particularly market scenes and church interiors.  As here, he restricted himself to a limited palette, punctuated by brilliant areas of light.

 

Purchased 1974 (No.74.2)