Emanuel de Witte
(b. 1617, Alkmaar, d. 1692, Amsterdam), is a Dutch painter, active in
his native Alkmaar, then in Rotterdam (by 1639), Delft (by 1641), and
Amsterdam (by 1652). His range was wide, including history paintings,
genre scenes (notably of markets) and portraits, but after he settled
in Amsterdam he concentrated on architectural paintings (primarily
church interiors, both real and imaginary).
His paintings are very
different in spirit from the sober views of most Dutch architectural
specialists, making powerful use of the dramatic play of light and
shadow in the lofty interiors. His life was unhappy (he was constantly
in debt) and when his body was found in an Amsterdam canal it was
suspected that he had committed suicide.
The image that accompanies
this article is by de Witte, painted circa 1660. Entitled, Interior
of a Baroque Church, it is an oil on canvas painting measuring
49 x 57 cm., and is hanging at the Staatliche Museum in Berlin.