Gerrit Berckheyde

The Grote Markt in Haarlem with the Grote or Saint Bavokerk

c. 1670–1675
53 x 42.5 cm.
Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels
The Grote Markt in Haarlem with the Grote or St. Bavokerk,  Gerrit Berckheyde

BERCKHEYDE, Gerrit Adriaensz.
(b. 1638, Haarlem, d. 1698, Amsterdam)

Dutch painter of architectural views, active in Haarlem, Amsterdam, and The Hague. He was the younger brother of Job Adriaensz. Berckheyde His representations of those cities have documentary accuracy, but they are never dry, achieving a poetic harmony by a subtle use of light and shade.

His painted work shows a debt not only to Pieter Saenredam's conception of the building portrait but also to Saenredam's refined draughtsmanship and dispassionate attitude; these qualities mark Berckheyde as a classicist and akin to Vermeer. Berckheyde favoured views of monuments on large open squares, a choice that distinguishes him from the other great Dutch townscape painter, Jan van der Heyden, who preferred views along canals in which clarity was sacrificed for pictorial effect.