Brief Biography-Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde was a native of Haarlem. His works were principally of churches, convents and noblemen's houses in his home town of Haarlem. The works of Pieter Jansz Saenredam had an impression on him. He spent the whole of his life in Haarlem except for occasional trips up the Rhine with his older brother Job. Job was a successful artist and Gerrit's mentor. The Rev Mathew Pilkington's account of Job's visit was thus-
'He had a great ambition to visit the court of the Elector Palatine, having
heard large accounts of the munificence of that Prince, to many of his profession; and, at last, in company with his brother Gerrit, he travelled thither.
When he had spent some time about the palace, and found it difficult to procure a proper introduction, he fixed upon a scheme which very fortunately, and fully,
answered his purpose.
He had often observed the Elector going out to the chase, and took particular
notice of all the nobility in his train. That incident Berkheyden made
his subject; and in conjunction with his brother, he finished two pictures, in
which they painted the portraits of the Elector, and his principal attendants, exceedingly like, and prevailed with an officer of the household, to place them in a gallery, through which his Highness always passed at his return. The Prince
had no sooner observed them, when he expressed the greatest surprise and satisfaction at the performance; and having impatiently inquired after the artists, and ordered them to be brought to court, he received them honourably, paid them in a princely manner, for their works, and made them considerable
presents; among which were two medals of gold.'
Both returned to Haarlem shortly afterwards, and Gerrit was later made a member of the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke. According to Pilkington, Gerrit was 'unfortunately drowned in a canal, as he returned home alone, after spending the evening in great festivity with a cheerful set of his friends'.