(b. 1571, Utrecht, d. 1638, Utrecht)

Design of Catharijnepoort in Utrecht

Municipal Archive, Utrecht

The phenomenon of the painter as architect was not current as in Antwerp and Brussels but not entirely unknown in the Northern Netherlands at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In the first decades of the century architecture in Holland was dominated by the works of Lieven de Key in Haarlem and Hendrick de Keyser in Amsterdam, who both held civic functions as master stone-masons. In Utrecht, where this function was abolished in 1601, there was no genuine artistic designer in the municipal building department. When a new city gate was needed in 1621, the painter Paulus Moreelse, who was himself a member of the Council, was asked to make a design and supervise its construction. Moreelse had been in Rome before 1615, and his design for the St Catherine's Gate is clearly of Italian inspiration.