Church of Saint Cecilia, Cologne

The twelfth-century Church of Saint Cecilia appears on the left in this view of the German city of Cologne. It is one of several images of the city’s famous Romanesque churches that Dutch artist Gerrit Berckheyde painted in the seventeenth century. The scene demonstrates Berckheyde’s ability to subtly blend reality and fantasy in the urban landscape. While sharp shadows articulate the actual architectural features of the church, figures performing various activities around the building are likely products of the artist’s imagination, included to create an impression of local life.

Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde

Dutch, 1638–1698

Church of Saint Cecilia, Cologne

c. 1685

Oil on canvas

20 3/8 x 24 1/4 in. (51.8 x 61.6 cm)

Bequest of C. C. Cunningham, 1980




Lawrence, Cynthia. Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde (1638–1698): Haarlem Cityscape Painter. Ars Picturae 2. Doornspijk, Netherlands: Davaco Publishers, 1991.