A 17th century view on Haarlem by Willem Dalens
Willem Dalens (The Hague 1628 - Hamburg 1675) grew up in The Hague. His father Dick Dalens I and brother Jan Dalens were both landscape painters. Willem Dalens followed in the footsteps of his father and started his painting career at the Sint Lucas Guild in Leiden, where he paid a subscription fee in 1650. In 1657 he married Susanna Danckerts from Voorburg. From this marriage came their son Dick Dalens II who also became a landscape painter. They left for Amsterdam around 1660. Here he made cityscapes along river banks of cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and Dordrecht.
This oil painting on panel is a cityscape of Haarlem. In the background you can see the Bavo Church and in the lower right corner is written 'Herelem.' The painting is monogrammed WD and dated1670 on one of the wooden houses in the foreground. This painting must be one of the last works that he made in Holland.
In 1671 the tension rose to much for Willem Dalens. Agression between the neighbors of the Republic increased, resulting in one of the black years in the history of The Netherlands, 'Het Rampjaar' of 1672. The Republic was attacked by the Diocese of Munster, Archdiocese of Cologne, France and England. According to the old saying, "the people were unreasoning, the government desperate, and the country unreasonable." Parts of Twente were already occupied and panic broke out when the French marched towards Utrecht. Only the return of the stadtholder who traditionally had control of the army could turn the tide. The war ended in a fizzle out. Stadtholder William III returned, the Republic stood up, but lost its position on the world stage. Before 'Het Rampjaar' set in, Willem Dalens had already left for Hamburg where he died a few years later.
The artwork has been sold.