Jan van Kessel
(Amsterdam 1641 – 1680)
View of the frozen Singel and the Heiligewegspoort in Amsterdam
Oil on canvas, 66.4 x 79 cm
– Possibly collection Jacob van de Velden, Amsterdam
– Auction Van de Schley/Yver, Amsterdam, December 3, 1781, lot 42 (ash Jan van Kessel)
– Collection Pieter Fouquet (1729-1800), Amsterdam
– Auction Sotheby's, New York, January 17, 1985, lot 102 (ash Anthony Beerstraten)
– Collection Serge Philipson, Dublin (from 1992) (ash Abraham Beerstraten)
– Auction Sotheby's, Amsterdam, November 10, 1998, lot 50 (ash Jan van Kessel) (incl. invoice)
- Private collection, the Netherlands
Ai Davis, Jan van Kessel (1641-1680), Doornspijk, 1992, pp. 35, 57-58, 113, 224, cat.no. 6 (ill.)
Registered at the RKD – Institute for Dutch Art History in The Hague under number 55404.
This picture was thought to be by Beerstraaten until Alice Davies recognized it as by Van Kessel. It is one of four painted views by Van Kessel of the Heiligewegspoort, all of which Davies dates after 1664, when the gate was destroyed. She suggests that they all derive from Van Kessel's drawing of the gate done in 1664 (Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, inv.no. 2853). The painted versions all show the eastern side of the gate and bridge. The Heiligewegspoort, one of the city gates in Amsterdam, was also painted several times by Jan Beerstraaten and his sons in the 1660's; one of these works is in the Amsterdam Museum (inv.no. A 643).
Located on the old city wall, the Heiligewegspoort was built in 1635 by the famous architect Jacob van Campen (1596-1657), but was demolished in the second half 1664, having fallen into disuse. The name refers to it being the entrance gate to the road leading up to the Catholic pilgrim's church, called De Heilige Stede. This church, now called the Nieuwezijds Kapel, is still situated between the Rokin and the Kalverstraat. The frozen canal in front of the gate was a part of the Singel canal, called Het Boerenverdriet in the 17th century; this was filled up in 1665 thus creating the Koningsplein. The building just to the left of the gate is a Menonite church, De Kerk bij 't Lam, which still stands today.