View of the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1647
In Rembrandt’s time, the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal was still an imposing canal. He stood here with his sketchbook, facing south. With considerable virtuosity and speed, he drew the houses and trees on both sides of the canal and the Weessluis, the bridge between the St. Luciënsteeg and the Rosmarijnsteeg. He suggested the gentle motion of the water’s surface with just a few chalk strokes.