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Jan van Goyen: 'A Windmill by a River'

Although it was probably painted in The Hague, this is an outstanding example of the 'tonal phase' of Dutch landscape painting associated with the town of Haarlem. Van Goyen shows a flat landscape, featureless except for the windmill, small figures and distant buildings, as if from the top of a low hill. The sky occupies three-quarters of the picture space in this panoramic view; it is painted in a deliberately restricted palette of grey, brown, black and white enlivened only by a few strokes of yellow and green. The low horizon gives great prominence to the sky and clouds.


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