The view from the aisle of the Laurenskerk in Alkmaar is one of Saenredams last paintings. The composition is remarkable, offering us a view of the courtyard through two sets of open doors. To the right in the silent church two inconspicuous figures are engaged in conversation.
Michael Lim asked
Hello. My question is... What is that head figure on the wall? That face with embroidery. Please tell me about it. Thanks.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered
Dear Michael, thank you for your question. There are different ideas about the meaning of this figure. In their 1989 book about Saenredam, Gary Schwarz and Marten Jan Bok connect the head with the church organ and conclude that it represents Goliath. As such it is an hommage to King David, who conquered Goliath and also was a musician; the Book of Psalms is attributed to David. Jeroen Giltaj, who wrote a book about Saenredam in 1991, agrees that this is a possibility. Giltay however believes it can also be a so called 'Gaper', a sign which was connected to medicine and healing and thus was often found on drugstores. I hope this answers useful. Kind regards, Els
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|Title||The great or Saint Lawrence's church at Alkmaar|
|Material and technique||Oil on panel|
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
|Location||This object is in storage|
Width 43.5 cm
Height 54.5 cm
Pieter Jansz. Saenredam
|Accession number||1849 (OK)|
|Credits||Schenking / Donation: Willem van der Vorm 1936|
|Age artist||About 64 years old|
|Collector||Collector / Willem van der Vorm|
Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (ter nagedachtenis aan Jonieke) (2012)
Een eerbetoon aan Jonieke van Es (1966-2012) (2012)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Futuro, utopie in constructie (2011)
Vormen van verdraagzaamheid (2013)
|Geographical origin||Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe|
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All about the artist
Pieter Jansz. Saenredam
Assendelft 1597 - Haarlem 1665
Pieter Saenredam is a Haarlem painted who specialised in Dutch church interiors. His paintings are characterised by his cool use of colour and the strict,...Bekijk het volledige profiel