The view depicted is of the Dam Square, Amsterdam, with the Waag (Weigh-House) in the centre and the old Town Hall (itself soon to be destroyed by fire) to the left, while in the background flames pour through the roof of the Nieuwe Kerk, as it is devoured by the great fire of 1645, which razed the building nearly to the ground.
Although drawings by Van der Poel are virtually unknown, another sheet clearly by the same hand, in Weimar1, is signed v.d. Poel, and is held at the RKD under his name. Like the present drawing, it depicts the artist's preferred subject, a scene of fire and destruction.
1. Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. nr. KK 5278
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