VIEW OF THE BAKENESSERGRACHT
Painter: Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde (born 6-6-1638 and died 14-6-1698)
Official title: View of the Bakenessergracht with the Passer and De Valk brewery
Original: Oil paint on wooden panel, 97,5 x 86,5 cm, wxh
About the painting
The painting is one of Gerrit van Haarlem's first paintings and the only one of the brewery.
In this beautifully balanced view of the Bakenessergracht, the young Berckheyde demonstrates his exceptional qualities. The painter contrasts his composition with a sense of light, form and rhythm. While on the sunlit right bank a simple maid silently dips her mop in the water, on the shady left bank it is bustling with activity. Beer barrels from the brewery are being transshipped onto a boat, and the brewer, accompanied by his wife, gives the skipper the final instructions for transport.
The brewery's coat of arms is central to the painting. Haarlem was known for its breweries, and this fact makes this seemingly casual glimpse into the city's early modern industry all the more attractive. Berkcheyde's choice to cloak the brewer and his brewery largely in shadow is striking. The light falls on the simple maid on the right bank.
About Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde
Gerrit was born in Haarlem as the son of a butcher. His older brother Job trained Gerrit, and fellow townsman Frans Hals also taught him the tricks of the trade.
From 1654 to 1660, Gerrit travelled through Germany with his brother, and on his return to Haarlem in 1660, he became a member of the St Luke's Guild. In 1680, he and his brother occupied a house next to the Grote- or St Bavo Church.
Gerrit mainly painted townscapes of Haarlem, Amsterdam and The Hague. In 1698, Gerrit drowned in the Brouwersvaart after visiting the inn there.
Read more about the life and work of Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde on his painting page.
A cooperation with the Frans Hals Museum Haarlem®
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