The Interior of St. Bavo, Haarlem

Object Details


The Interior of St. Bavo, Haarlem


Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (Dutch, 1597 - 1665)






Oil on panel


38.7 x 47.6 cm (15 1/4 x 18 3/4 in.)

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Light fills the interior of the Church of Saint Bavo in Haarlem, one of the finest Gothic buildings still in existence today. Although Pieter Jansz. Saenredam based his work on careful on-the-spot studies, the painting combines two distinct views, one looking straight ahead and the other toward the chancel on the left. He even added an altarpiece and a stained glass window, which would probably already have been removed from the church by Saenredam's time. By the 1600s, Protestant churches in Holland had become relatively austere in response to the teachings of theologian John Calvin.

The overall impression is one of strong verticality, soaring space, and penetrating light, a spiritual reference to the heavens above. The inclusion of small figures accentuate the viewer's experience of exalted interior space. Saenredam described architectural elements in great detail: vaulted ceilings, moldings, decorative capitals, clustered pillars, and clerestory windows.

by 1910 - 1911

Adolphe Schloss, 1842 - 1910 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his wife, Lucie Schloss, 1911.

1911 - 1939

Lucie (Haas) Schloss, 1858 - 1938 (Paris, France), by inheritance to her children, Lucien Schloss, Henri Schloss, Raymond Schloss, and Juliette (Schloss) Weil, 1939.

1939 - 1943

Lucien Schloss, 1881 - 1962 (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Henri Schloss, 1882 - 1964 (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Raymond Schloss (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Juliette (Schloss) Weil, born 1885 (Chambon, France), looted by the Vichy Government of France, 1943.


In the possession of the Vichy Government of France (Chambon, France; Paris, France), sequestered by the French State Museums at the Musée du Louvre, 1943.

1943 - 1945

Musée du Louvre (Paris, France), restituted to the Adolphe Schloss Family, 1945.

1945 - 1951

Schloss Family (Paris, France) [sold, Schloss sale, Galerie Charpentier, Rheims & Baudoin, Paris, December 5, 1951, lot 51, to D. A. Hoogendijk Gallery.]

1951 -

D. A. Hoogendijk Gallery (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

by 1953 - 1963

J. C. H. Heldring (Oosterbeek, The Netherlands) [sold, Heldring sale, Sotheby's, London, March 27, 1963, lot 17, to Edward Speelman, Ltd.]

1963 -

Edward Speelman, Ltd. (London, England)

by 1971 -

Harold Samuel, 1912 - 1987 (Wych Cross Place, Sussex, England), sold to Edward Speelman, by 1985.

by 1985

Edward Speelman, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

17e eeuwse meesters uit Gelders bezit (1953) (Cat. 57)
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, (The Hague), 1953
Nederlandse Architectuurschilders 1600 - 1900 (1953) (not in catalogue)
  • Centraal Museum, (Utrecht), 1953
Holländer des 17. Jahrhunderts (November 4 to December 20, 1953) (Cat. 186)
  • Kunsthaus Zürich, (Zurich), November 4 to December 20, 1953
Mostra di pittura olandese de seicento (January 4 to April 25, 1954) (Cat. 136/139)
  • Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Comune di Roma, (Rome), January 4 to February 14, 1954
  • Palazzo Reale (Milano), February 25 to April 25, 1954
Kunstschatten uit Nederlandse verzamelingen (June 19 to September 25, 1955) (Cat. 113)
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, (Rotterdam), June 19 to September 25, 1955
Collectie J. C. H. Heldring (April 6 to June 1, 1958) (Cat. 27)
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, (The Hague), April 6 to June 1, 1958
Collectie J. C. H. Heldring, te Oosterbeek (May 24 to June 24, 1960) (Cat. 32)
  • Centraal Museum, (Utrecht), May 24 to June 24, 1960
Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (September 3 to December 3, 1961) (Cat. 55)
  • Centraal Museum, (Utrecht), September 3 to December 3, 1961
The Sacred Spaces of Pieter Saenredam (April 16 to July 7, 2002) (Included in Getty venue, but not in catalog.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 16 to July 7, 2002
Saenredam: La fachada occidental de la iglesia de Santa María de Utrecht (November 11, 2008 to February 15, 2009) (Cat. 2)
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, (Madrid), November 11, 2008 to February 15, 2009
Education Resources

Education Resource




Buildings, Buildings Everywhere

Students learn about shapes in architecture by painting their school and writing a reflective summary of their study of architecture.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson

Sacred Places: California Missions from Different Perspectives

Explore the concept of a sacred place through works of art representing sacred spaces, and by studying the California missions.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science


Long-Term Unit

The Poetry of Architecture

Lesson in which students explore architectural structures/nature in paintings; describe a painting's mood, draw, write poetry, make a camera obscura.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science


Three/Five-Part Lesson

Analyzing Paintings about Architecture

Lesson in which students learn about architectural elements and vantage points in paintings; and how 3-D shapes are transformed into 2-D forms.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Two-Part Lesson

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