Egmond aan Zee was an old and considerable sea village; in 1036 Lord Walger of Egmond is mentioned as its founder. In 1632, the village had as many as 213 houses! In our painting, to the right behind the first row of dunes, amidst the low houses, we see the tall tower of the medieval church crowned with an iron peak. The tower is long gone; the advancing sea washed away larger and larger pieces of dune – even then! – and the tower collapsed in 1741. Beerstraaten still saw the church in its full glory and made a drawing of it which served as an example for the painting in our collection that may be counted among his best work.
Museums: including Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Dresden, Gemäldegalerie; Greenwich, National Maritime Museum; Paris, Musee du Louvre