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Wouter Pietersz. Crabeth II en de parochie St. Johannes de Doper in Gouda

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image of Oud Holland - Journal for Art of the Low Countries

After the Reformation of 1572 Catholic life only began to flourish again in Gouda on the advent of the priest Petrus Purmerent (1587-1663) , who was sent there in 1614 by the apostolic vicar Philippus Rovenius (Notes 1, 2) . He founded a parish dedicated to St. John the Baptist, as the old church had been, which grew so rapidly (from around 500 in 1612 to around 6,000 in 1657, Notes 5-7) that he moved to larger premises on the Gouwe in 1630. The regard in which he and his twin brother Suibertus, who was equally active in Delft, were held is apparent from their portraits painted in 1631 by Willem van der Vliet (Notes 9, 10) and around 1645 by Ludolph de Jongh (Fig. 1, Note 11) and Hendrik van Vliet (Note 12). Engravings were made after the second two portraits by Reynier van Persijn (Note 13) . Despite a certain amount of interference from the twon council, Petrus Purmerent succeeded in decorating his hidden church in fine style. In the report of his visitation of 1643 made by Sebastiaan Francken, commissioner of the Court of Holland (Note 15), it is described as a very big place' with pews, chairs and altars, a large amount of silver, 'very beautiful paintings' and a fine organ. The church, which was on the Old Catholic side in the jansenist schism of 1723, has remained in the same place and was rebuilt in 1863. It is not possible now to reconstruct the situation of 1643 exactly, but a large number of the works of art and


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