Lot 30
  • 30

Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet

300,000 - 500,000 USD
317,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet
  • Interior of the Oude Kerk at Delft
  • signed and dated at the back of the pew lower right: H. Van Vliet/An. 1662
  • oil on canvas
  • 37 3/8 x 33 1/2 inches


Anonymous Sale, Amsterdam, Frederick Muller, 1946 (according to photograph in Witt Library);
With Bernard Houthakker, Amsterdam, by 1953;
By whom sold to George Encil, The Bahamas, 1962;
By whom sold ("Property of Mr G.E of The Bahamas"), London, Sotheby's London, 12 December 1990, lot 66;
There purschased by the present collector.


Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Nederlandse architectuur-schilders, 1600-1900, 1953, no. 100;
Tokyo, The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Vermeer and the Delft Style, 2 August - 14 December 2008.


D. Van Bleyswijck, Beschrijving van Delft, 1667, engraved reproduction facing p. 174;
W.A. Liedtke, Architectural Painting in Delft, Doornspijk 1982, pp. 59, 66-67, 105, appendix II, cat. no. 29, reproduced fig. 55;
E. Reznicek, in Experience and Adventures of a Collector, Paris 1989, pp. 134-135;
W.A. Liedtke, in Vermeer and the Delft School, exhibition catalogue, New York 2001, p. 418, under cat. no.84;
B.G. Maillet, Intérieurs d'Églises 1580-1720, La Peinture Architecturale des Écoles du Nord, Wijnegem 2012, p. 418, cat. no. M-1446, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

This deep perspective view looking down the central aisle of the Oude Kerk in Delft, was a departure by Van Vliet from the oblique views of church interiors that had dominated his work in the 1650s.  The origin of this type of church interior composition harks back to the prints of Hans Vredeman de Vries a century before and continued in the works of such Flemish painters as Pieter Neefs the Elder and Younger.1  In the Netherlands, artists such as Anthonie de Lorme and Daniel de Blieck continued this tradition.  Here the dramatic spatial recession, enhanced by the parallel lines of the stone pavement running down the nave, draw the viewer’s eye to the choir screen where figures can be seen framed by the doorway.  Van Vliet has included a view of the underside of the organ loft in the upper part of the composition.

Van Vliet painted a pendant to this picture depicting a similar view of the central aisle of the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft (Gilbert collection, St. Petersburg, Florida, fig.1), which was included in the exhibition Vermeer and the Delft School at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Literature).  As in the present painting, it also includes a portion of the organ loft at top.  Walter Liedtke thinks it likely that Van Vliet painted these two works for a particular client.  The artist is not known to have painted any other pendants, which are very rare in this genre, and his effort to depict such comprehensive views is not found in his earlier work.  The pendants were engraved for Johannes de Ram’s and Coenraet Decker’s Illustrated Map of Delft, 1678, and were incorporated into Dirck van Bleyswijck’s expanded Beschryvinge der Stadt Delft, 1680, (fig. 2).

1. See W. Liedtke, op.cit., 2001, p. 416.