In the sixteenth century Alkmaar’s Great St Lawrence’s Church boasted the largest altarpiece in the Low Countries by Maarten van Heemskerck. After the Reformation it was sold and taken to Sweden. This year the shutters of the altarpiece have been returned for a while to their original place for the first time in centuries and they can now be seen in the sanctuary in St Lawrence’s. This rare opportunity to view the works on their original location is accompanied by an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar on the history of the altarpiece.
The complete altarpiece of Maarten van Heemskerck in Sweden, Linköping. The shutters are now returned to Alkmaar (photo Margareta Svensson)