The Haarlem artist Saenredam is best known for his serene portrayals of Dutch church interiors, which he planned in drawings. His working process usually began with a freehand drawing, of which this sheet is a characteristic example. It records the architecture of Haarlem’s cathedral viewed from the central crossing of the nave, whilst also capturing the light and atmosphere of its imposing interior. Saenredam subsequently created a more detailed construction drawing to focus on accurate perspective and measured architecture, and this would serve as a reference for the final painting.


  • Title: The South Ambulatory of St. Bavokerk, Haarlem
  • Creator: Pieter Saenredam
  • Creator Lifespan: 1597-1665
  • Date Created: 1634
  • Physical Dimensions: 33.8 x 23.5/23.8 cm.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Photo Ⓒ The Courtauld
  • External Link: Explore The Courtauld's collection
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink with grey wash, with some black-chalk shading, heightened with white, on blue laid paper
  • Acquisition Credit: Robert Witt bequest, 1952

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