At the beginning of the seventeenth century it became fashionable for the Haarlem bourgeoisie to build recreational dwellings outside the city walls. This amazingly accurate view reveals how densely populated this side of the Spaarne – the Zuider Buiten Spaarne – had become by the closing decade of the century.
This lively riverscape may be identical with a ‘watergezicht’ by Van der Vinne, recorded as hanging in the ‘voorhuys’ in the inventory of the artist’s household drawn up on 3 August 1702. It is also possible that it was commissioned by the owner of the small country house visible at the extreme right of the scene, which is shown prominently and close by. This “buiten”, called Spaarnelust, was owned from 1690 onwards by the Mennonite merchant Mathijs van Sanen. A highly comparable painting from the same period depicting the estates Vlietzorg and Zorgvliet on the Spaarne (Amsterdam Museum) may also have been a commission by the contemporary owners of the respective properties, the Mennonite Haarlem families Kops and Van Casele.
Van de Vinne comes from a family that produced four successive generations of artists. Laurens was a respected painter, etcher and draughtsman in Haarlem, who fulfilled leading positions within the town’s guild. Many etchings and drawings by Laurens van der Vinne are preserved in the print-room of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.