The Nave and Choir of the Mariakerk in Utrecht, Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, 1641
In the young Dutch Republic only Reformed Protestant services were still held in the former Catholic churches. Statues and paintings of saints were prohibited. The 11th-century Mariakerk preserved the decorations of the piers, which Saenredam here rendered in great detail – even applying gold leaf. At the left visitors look at an image of a bull on one of the piers: according to legend, this column continued to sink during construction until it was grounded on a bull’s hide.