Jan van Goyen was a busy artist in his lifetime with 1,200 paintings and over 1,000 drawings to his name, with six of his paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This oil painting was painted in 1646, a few years before van Goyen was forced to sell all of his paintings and artworks to pay off debts.
St. Martin’s Cathedral, or Utrecht Cathedral, was intact when it was painted by Jan van Goyen, but the nave collapsed during a storm in 1674. The authorities never quite got round to rebuilding it, so the bell tower is still separated from the remaining section of the building. The painting was given to the museum as part of the John G. Johnson collection in 1917.