Paul Gabriël was a realist and had an aversion to art that was not directly related to reality. For him, the Dutch landscape was a great source of inspiration. He called it colourful, succulent and rich. This boggy polder landscape, painted in measured tints of green and grey, has a striking perspective that automatically draws the gaze of the observer to the middle. There, something unexpected occurs: a train is approaching, which will gradually disrupt the landscape with its steam and noise and break the silence. In the Dutch art of that time, Gabriel was the only painter who raised the question of the modern age so sublimely and incisively. Monet and Turner were his examples in this. He lived in Brussels for 24 years. This painting was made shortly after he returned to the Netherlands. Perhaps that is why his view of the flat polder landscape was so clear and direct.


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