BRAY, Salomon de
(b. 1597, Amsterdam, d. 1664, Haarlem)

Vestry behind the choir

St Bavo, Haarlem

Salomon de Bray always referred to himself as 'painter and architect' in official documents and he practiced both disciplines in parallel throughout his life. Along with Jacob van Campen, he is regarded as one of the first painters cum architects to put classical theory into practice. His architectural oeuvre is unfortunately poorly documented, and only a small portion of his known works still survive. He must have achieved a reputation as an architect in Haarlem fairly quickly, and after the death of Lieven de Key in 16127 he can be regarded as his successor in the role of city architect.

The new vestry behind the choir of St Bavo in Haarlem was built in 1658 after the design by Salomon de Bray. He tired to make the new building fit in as much as possible with the medieval appearance of the choir through the application of Gothicizing tracery with fine tracery at the top. Moreover, the second and fourth bays of the five-bay long hall were raised with a kind of transept to provide a more lively, 'Gothic' silhouette.