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Wooded landscape with a Water-mill

Meindert HobbemaProbably early 1660s

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Hobbema’s “realistic” Wooded Landscape is very different to the idealised Dutch Italianate scenes by Cuyp, Berchem and Both which dominate this collection and are hung nearby. Hobbema’s view is carefully composed and the largest tree is depicted with a romantic intensity. His work was a great influence upon John Constable in his early Suffolk landscapes.

Unusually for Hobbema’s landscapes the figures in this picture are thought to have been painted by the artist himself.

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  • Title: Wooded landscape with a Water-mill
  • Date: Probably early 1660s
  • Physical Dimensions: w854 x h619 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: A copy signed by John Crome dated 1820 (dated 1820) (private collection, Suffolk). Crome also painted a watercolour of Silver Birches (Norwich Castle Museum, inv. no. 112.536), a copy of part of Pynacker's Landscape with Sportsmen and Game. A similar composition sold Brussels, Giroux, 12 Mar. 1927, lot 36 (signed).
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: London, Noel Desenfans, ?1795-1807: ?London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 28 Feb. 1795, lot 23; ?London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 18 Mar. 1802, lot 182 (Descriptive Catalogue no. 111: 'A Landscape and Figures [it possesses neither ... buildings, nor ... ruins ... unadorned either by ... rocks or majestic mountains, rivers or bridges, cascades or cattle ... but merely with a few trees and a chaste natural sky]'); 1804 Insurance List, no. 95; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Inscriptions: [Hobbema]
  • Further Information: This is a typical wooded landscape by Hobbema. He is known to have painted pictures of watermills in the vicinity of Singraven near Denekamp, but the mill here is quite different, and its location has not been identified. The buildings appear in another picture by Hobbema formerly on the Brussels art market, suggesting that the site is a real one. The costumes would indicate a date in the early 1660s Hobbema was born in Amsterdam in 1638 and joined Jacob van Ruisdael’s studio as an apprentice in 1655. This early landscape by Hobbema pays tribute to the landscapes of his master but is lighter in both palette and mood, as noted when compared to Ruisdael’s The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede(DPG168) also displayed in this room.
  • Artist: Hobbema, Meindert
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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