Oil on parquet panel
25.7 x 32.5 cm ( 42 x 50 cm framed)
Signed by the artist at the top of pedestal supporting the right-hand column
Provenance: La Vergne Collection - Château de Veyrac (Haute-Vienne, Nouvelle Aquitaine)
This church interior is typical of the work of Jans Juriaensz van Baden, a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialised in architectural representations, notably church interiors.
1. Jans Juriaensz van Baden
We have scant information about the life of Jans Juriaensz van Baden. Born in Steinbach (a small village south of Baden-Baden) in 1604, he is said to have been a sailor and to have been married four times, after successive widowhoods. He lived in Arnemuiden (in Zeeland) from 1633 to 1635 and then settled in Amsterdam where he remained until his death in 1677.
It is said that he learned architectural painting in Arnemuiden as a pupil of Dirk van Delen (1605 - 1671). He then specialised in church interiors, where his skill was enhancing the impression of space and emptiness.
2. Description of the artwork
This painting is typical of Van Baden's work: the immense perspective of a Gothic church can be seen across a dimly lit threshold, with the choir visible beyond the crossroads of the transepts. The interior is bathed in a soft golden light, which also illuminates the two main figures: a man and a woman, tenderly holding hands.
Numerous other characters enliven this scene as they wander about, while two dogs appear to be chasing each other. It is likely that these figures were painted after the architectural setting was in place as the transparency of their clothes sometimes reveals the architectural background.
The size of the building is immense and the various figures barely reach the height of the column pedestals. More than the figures, the representation of this great space, of the void between the columns, is the real subject of the painting. The light plays between the columns, the walls and their various openings to create an almost abstract harmony of golden colours. This impression of immensity is further reinforced by the absence of any decoration. The absence of paintings and statues indicates that we are probably in a Reformed church (not yet identified).
It is possible that this panel’s dimensions have been modified and that it was originally taller (the first two columns of the nave are cut off and the arch that connected them is not visible), and perhaps also wider. The parquetry on the back also indicates that this panel was originally on a thick board, which was probably also thinned when it was resized. The overall perspective has thus been altered, and it is likely that the painting originally represented a view from an imaginary overhanging point, which explains the verticality of the perspective of the nave vaults.
This painting has been framed in a Louis XIII period oak frame. Probably once painted or gilded, it has been stripped and its blond colour is in harmony with the general tones of the painting.
Delevery information :
The prices indicated are the prices for purchases at the gallery.
Depending on the price of the object, its size and the location of the buyer we are able to offer the best transport solution which will be invoiced separately and carried out under the buyer's responsibility.