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Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (1597-1665)
Pieter Saenredam was born in Assendelft in 1597, the son of engraver Jan Saenredam. When the latter died in 1607, he left his wife and child well provided, having invested in the successful Dutch East India Company (VOC). Mother and son moved to Haarlem, where Pieter was apprenticed to Frans de Grebber for eleven years. He continued to live in Haarlem the rest of his life, although he regularly travelled around the country to paint in other Dutch cities. Saenredam soon began focusing on architecture. His depictions of church interiors established an entirely new genre in Dutch art. He was precise in his method: Saenredam’s in situ sketches were an essential guide for his paintings. His use of perspective in his church interiors was exceptionally meticulous.