View of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Synagogues in Amsterdam
Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde (Haarlem, 1638–Haarlem, 1698)
Oil on canvas, 58.7 x 73.5 cm.
On permanent loan from the Musée de Picardie, Amiens
Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde (Haarlem, 1638 – Haarlem, 1698), View of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Synagogues in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1682
Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde was famous for his cityscapes and painted several views of Amsterdam and its most admired buildings. The Jewish quarter in Amsterdam, its synagogues and the cemetery at Ouderkerk became attractions for travellers and the inquisitive. There are two other versions of this picture. Berckheyde painted them shortly after the two buildings were completed and inaugurated. The Ashkenazi synagogue was inaugurated in 1671 and the Sephardic, so-called “Portuguese” synagogue in 1675. In Amsterdam as in Venice, different Jewish communities were intent on preserving their culture and language and built separate but neighbouring synagogues to perform their liturgies.