On October 12th 1654, a gunpowder store exploded destroying much of the Dutch city of Delft. More than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured. One of the casualties was a thirty-two year old local artist Carel Fabritius, who at the time was painting in his studio close to the gunpowder store. Many of his paintings were also destroyed . Fabritius had trained in Rembrandt’s studio in Amsterdam and was a contemporary of Vermeer.
Today’s Art Display is Carel Fabritius’s A View of Delft. He painted this in 1652 and the view shows part of the Dutch town of Delft. The actual view is looking north west from the corner of the Oude Langendijk and Oosteinde. In the centre of the painting is the church, Nieuwe Kerk, behind which is the town hall. In the foreground is the booth of a musical instrument vendor. It is thought that the painting may have been formed using a perspective box giving rise to an exaggerated perspective. To the left of the lute one can see the painter’s name “C FABRITIVS 1652” scrawled on the wall