|Title||Interior of a Catholic Church|
|Collection||Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle|
|Artist||Neeffs, Peeter, the elder (Flemish painter, born ca.1578, died 1656-1661)|
|Date Earliest||possibly about 1605|
|Date Latest||possibly about 1660|
The painting shows the interior of an unidentified Gothic church seen from the west door. The Catholic denomination of this church is evidenced by the painted triptychs in the side aisle. Groups of figures stroll in the foreground, while a priest preaches from a pulpit. A crucifix crowns the screen which leads to the altar behind.
The painting may have been intended to direct the viewer's thoughts to the Christian faith and to inspire spiritual contemplation. However, the value attached to architectural paintings like this was also due to the display of the painter's technical skill.
|Current Accession Number||B.M.205|
|Former Accession Number||No. 427; No. 30|
|Inscription||front ll 'PN'|
|Subject||interior (church); figure; religion; buildings and gardens (church)|
|Measurements||61.9 x 81.3 cm cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.|
The figures were painted by a different hand, although probably not by the usual collaborators of Peeter Neeffs the elder, Frans Francken II and Frans Francken III.
Architectural paintings like this found an excellent market among collectors and connoisseurs. See Ruus, R., 'Functions of architectural painting, with special reference to church interiors', in Giltaij, J. and Jansen, G. (eds.), Perspectives: Saenredam and the Architectural Painters of the Seventeenth century, Rotterdam, 1991, p. 50.
|Rights Owner||The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham|
|Author||Dr Mercedes Cerón|