Witte, Emmanuel de

1617-1692

 

Witte, Emmanuel de

Dutch painter whose scenes of church interiors represent the last phase of architectural painting in the Netherlands.
His artistic career began in Delft, where he concentrated on historical subjects and portraits. About mid-century Emmanuel de Witte seems to have developed an interest in architectural painting, probably influenced by the example of his contemporaries Gerard Houckgeestand Hendrick Cornelisz van Vliet. By 1652 de Witte was living in Amsterdam, where he spent the remainder of his life.
De Witte depicted the interiors of such Amsterdam buildings as the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church; painting, 1677; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), the Oude Kerk (Old Church; paintings in the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Mass.; Akademie des Bildenden Kunste, Vienna), and the Portuguese Synagogue (painting, 1680; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). His interiors were constructedon a grand scale, using elaborate perspective and relatively large figures. Emmanuel de Witte's palette tended toward monochrome tonalities of whitish yellow in areas of sunlight and gray to deep black in the shadows, occasionally accented by a soft green or red. De Witte was also a notable painter of scenes from everyday life such as The Fish Market (1672) and Bourgeois Interior with a Woman at the Virginals (both in the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam).

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