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Nicolaes De Giselaer - The Cleansing of the Temple 1622

Nicolaes De Giselaer - The Cleansing of the Temple 1622


Cleansing of the Temple by Nicolaes de Giselaer dated 1622


Nicolaes de Giselaer was born in 1583 in Dordrecht and died in 1647 in Utrecht. He was a renowned Dutch painter and draftsman specializing in architectural paintings and, in particular, church interiors. Within his oeuvre, the present painting is a particularly large and well-preserved example of his skill. Early in his live, he moved to Amsterdam where he married in 1616, before later settling in Utrecht, where he became Master at the Guild of Saint-Luc. His currently known oeuvre is small, with only a small number of recorded works, amongst which around fifteen church interiors and palaces. Therefore we are very happy to be able to offer this previously unpublished and fully signed painting by him. Some of his other works can be found in the collections of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. 


The cleansing of the Temple narrative tells of Jesus expelling the merchants and the money changers from the Temple and is recounted in all four canonical gospels of the New Testament. The scene is a common motif in Christian art. In this account, Jesus and his disciples travel to Jerusalem for Passover, where Jesus expels the merchants and consumers from the temple, accusing them of turning it into "a den of thieves" (in the Synoptic Gospels) and "a house of trade" (in the Gospel of John) through their commercial activities, thus cleansing the Temple of vice and restoring its purity. The narrative occurs near the end of the Synoptic Gospels (at Matthew 21:12–17, Mark 11:15–19, and Luke 19:45–48) and near the start in the Gospel of John (at John 2:13–16). Some scholars believe that these refer to two separate incidents, given that the Gospel of John also includes more than one Passover. 



Oil on canvas measures ca. 111 by 82 cms and with the frame ca. 141 by 112cms. 



private collection Italy (as attributed to Pieter Neeffs)


Literature on the artist:

*Thieme/Becker 1907-1950 , vol. 15 (1922), p. 378 (as: Gyselaer, Nicolaes de)

*Van der Willigen/De Kinkelder (typescript 1993/1998)

*Saur 1992- , vol. 103 (2007), p. 492

*A.D. de Vries Azn., 'Biografische aanteekeningen betreffende voornamelijk Amsterdamsche schilders, plaatsnijders, enz. en hunne verwanten' (II), Oud-Holland 3 (1885), p. 135-160; p. 146

*Th. von Frimmel, 'Zu N. de Giselaer', Blätter für Gemäldekunde, 1/1 (1904), p. 14

*P.M. van Walchren, 'Een vergeten tak van het geslacht de Gijselaer en een weinig bekende kunstenaar', De Nederlandsche Leeuw 46 (1928), p. 4-9

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