(b. ca. 1600, The Hague, d. 1661, Delft)

Ambulatory of the New Church in Delft with the Tomb of William the Silent

c. 1651
Oil on panel, 66 x 78 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

In his paintings Houckgeest chose a perspective construction with two vanishing points: one on the left-hand edge of the painting and one on the right in the picture. After he introduced his own approach to representing actual church interiors in his panel now in Hamburg, he explored the spaces of the Nieuwe Kerk and Oude Kerk for similar views. In all his paintings of Delft churches a colonnade is aligned diagonally with the picture plane and the architecture recedes to both sides. The effect is naturalistic and to some extent illusionistic. He employed this so-called diagonal perspective in nearly all his works.

Houckgeest made various 'portraits' of the interior of the New Church in Delft, all of which include depictions of the tomb of Willem I of Orange, known as William the Silent. In this painting the impressive monument stands modestly amidst a forest of pillars, the surroundings being accentuated by the bright light more than the tomb.

The painting is signed in monogram and dated lower right, on the nearest column base: GH 16(51).

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