The watermills belonged to the manor house of Singraven near Denekamp, a village in the eastern part of the province of Overijssel, close to the German border. While the watermills do exist, the setting is Ruisdael's invention: there are no hills near Denekamp.

Inspired by Ruisdael's repeated depictions of the watermills, his pupil Meindert Hobbema followed his example and painted a series of pictures with the same motif. One of them, 'The Watermills at Singraven near Denekamp', is also in the National Gallery's Collection.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1628/9? - 1682
Full title
Two Watermills and an Open Sluice at Singraven
Date made
about 1650-2
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
87.3 x 111.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number
NG986
Location in Gallery