Artworks and Artists
A Sermon in the Old Church in Delft

A Sermon in the Old Church in Delft,
c. 1650-1651
Witte, Emanuel de
oil on oak
73.2 x 59.5 cm


The Old Church is the oldest parish church in Delft. After the Reformation, Catholic churches were converted to Protestant churches, becoming as much gathering places as houses of prayer. In the foreground, we see a silent group of people who are not really taking part in the gathering: a man with a hat and sword, a woman in a black veil nursing her baby, a little girl eating a bun, and a dog. The pulpit and preacher stand out in silhouette in the middle distance. Through the windows, we glimpse the architecture of Delft with its jagged roofs, and in the stained glass (not all of it had been smashed during the Reformation), we see a small religious scene.