Indepth Arts News: |
"SAENREDAM:The West Faﬂade of the Mariakerk, Utrecht"
2008-11-11 until 2009-02-15
11 November marks the opening of the 22nd exhibition in the Contexts of the
Permanent Collection series, which on this occasion is devoted to the Dutch
painter Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (1597-1665). Through the exhibition, the Museo
Thyssen-Bornemisza will be offering an overview of the work of this artist, one of the
leading names of 17th-century Dutch painting in a survey that will include some of
his finest compositions. Saenredam was a pioneering figure in his use of detailed
preparatory sketches and perspectival measurements made at first-hand, and he
devoted almost his entire career to the depiction of interior and exterior
architectural views. As a result, and according to his biographer Cornelis de Bie,
Saenredam was “the first architectural portraitist”.
The exhibition focuses on a panel in the Museum’s own collection entitled The
West Front of the Sint-Mariakerk in Utrecht of 1662. Despite its relatively small size
(65.1 x 51.2 cm) it is a major example of the “perspectives” on which the artist
exclusively focused from 1628 when he decided to abandon other genres. Also
dating from that year is the charcoal portrait drawing of Saenredam by the artist’s
friend, the painter and architect Jacob van Campen. Loaned by the British
Museum in London, it is also included in the exhibition.
Saenredam’s oeuvre is relatively small, possibly due to the painstaking care
involved in the production of his works. The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has
selected eleven of the finest examples, for which reason the exhibition offers a
unique opportunity to study at close hand the work of this great artist and
draughtsman who is almost unknown to the wider public within Spain.
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