Records of de Blieck's birthdate are lost and nothing is known about his early training. His later life, however, is slightly better documented; he entered the guild in Middelburg in 1647-48 as an architect, and his earliest known paintings of church interiors date from 1650. Although it might seem that living and working in Zeeland would have isolated him to some extent from the architectural painters then working in Delft, Rotterdam, and Haarlem, De Blieck appears to have been aware of the latest developments in the genre.1 He painted both real and imaginary church views, with his earliest known representation of a real church interior being a large panel dated 1652 of the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam.2 The location depicted in the present painting had not previously been securely identified; however, a note in the photographic archives of the RKD, The Hague suggests that this painting depicts the interior of the Grote Kerk in Dordrecht.3 Dr. Walter A. Liedtke, who has seen the present painting firsthand, supports this identification.
1. See W. Liedtke in, Inaugural Exhibition of Old Master Paintings, Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York 1995, p. 93, under cat. no. 19.
2. Ibid, pp. 93-4, cat. no. 19, reproduced.
3. See Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, photographic archives, image 43903.
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