Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Worlds of Wonder: An Imaginary Church

Gerard Houckgeest (1600-1661), a Dutch painter from the 17th century, seems to be known for his fictive pieces, including one of an imaginary palace interior that still hangs at Hampton Court. During the 1630s, in his early career, Houckgeest was in England, and Charles I owned five of his prospectives. It seems that his most famous painting is the Interior of the Oude Kerk Delft, which was actually drawn from life, but he has a several paintings of churches from his own mind, including "Interior of an Imaginary Church in the Classical Style" (1638), to the left.

I wonder, though: What makes one paint a church of your imagination, when there were so many beautiful cathedrals already surrounding you in Europe? I suppose, then, one would ask why I write every Wednesday of non-existent places. The world may never know.

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