b. 1597, Assendelft, d. 1665, Haarlem,Painter and draughtsman, son of Jan Saenredam. His paintings of churches and the old town halls in Haarlem, Utrecht and Amsterdam must have been appreciated by contemporary viewers principally as faithful representations of familiar and meaningful monuments. Yet they also reveal his exceptional sensitivity to aesthetic values; his paintings embody the most discriminating considerations of composition, colouring and craftsmanship. His oeuvre is comparatively small, the paintings numbering no more than 60, and each is obviously the product of careful calculation and many weeks of work. Their most striking features, unusual in the genre, are their light, closely valued tonalities and their restrained, restful and delicately balanced compositions. These pictures, always executed on smooth panels, are remarkable for their sense of harmony and, in some instances, serenity. Here, perhaps, lies a trace of filial fidelity to the Mannerist tradition of refinement and elegance, of lines never lacking in precision and grace. But Mannerist figures and the more comparable components of strap- and scrollwork embellishment lack the tension and clarity of Saenredam's designs, which also have a completeness reminiscent of the fugues of Gerrit Sweelinck (1566-?1628).
THe Interior of the Grote Kerk,Haarlem
Oil on oak