Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde

b.1638, d.1698

A View in Cologne with St. Gereon's Basilica

  • Purchased with assistance from the Ballantyne Bequest, 1972
  • Oil on canvas
  • 600 x 530 x 105mm
  • 72/06
  • 1670-1698

Gerrit Berckheyde’s contribution to the Dutch Golden Age of painting was as an exponent of the cityscape, which became a new genre from the mid seventeenth-century. Berckheyde was Haarlem-based, and began producing paintings of Cologne in about 1670, from sketches made in the 1650s. He painted a series of works depicting St. Gereon’s Basilica, a large and distinctive Romanesque style church completed in the thirteenth century.

This painting was purchased through a significant bequest made in 1953 from an insurance settlement from the estate of William Ballantyne (1864–1934), whose art collection had been largely destroyed in the 1947 Ballantyne’s department store fire.

(Treasury: A Generous Legacy, 18 December 2015 – 27 November 2016)

earlier labels about this work
  • For many years this work was attributed to Philips Wouwermans (1619-1668). The work was displayed with this label when Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened in May 2003:

    Philips Wouwermans painted many hunting scenes and in this work he shows noblemen setting off for the hunt. The inclusion of a white horse is typical of his work, so much so that it became almost a signature of his style. Wouwermans has paid careful attention to detail and the brooding darkness of the scene creates a sense of drama. He has used very fine brushwork, typical of many realist Dutch artists of the period. Born in Haarlem, Wouwermans was part of a successful family of artists. For most of his life he lived in Haarlem where he is reputed to have studied under Frans Hals (c.1580 -1666). Wouwermans travelled to Hamburg c.1638 when his family objected to his marriage to a Catholic, however he returned to Haarlem in 1640 and became a member of the Painters Guild in the same year. He was prolific and established a very successful practice. He specialised in the representation of battles involving cavalry.