This picture shows a landscape inspired by the countryside near Rome, with the remains of an aqueduct prominently silhouetted against the blue Mediterranean sky. It is not entirely clear when the artist went to Italy, but it has been suggested that he went twice, once in the early 1640s and for a second time between 1651 and 1653. There he is thought to have filled his sketchbooks with drawings of landscapes and figure subjects which he later incorporated into his paintings. Back in the Netherlands he moved frequently between Haarlem and Amsterdam.

This idyllic landscape was probably painted in the late 1650s, long after the artist's return to the Netherlands. It is similar to a landscape by him that is dated 1658 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1620 - 1683
Full title
Peasants with Four Oxen and a Goat at a Ford by a Ruined Aqueduct
Date made
probably 1655-60
Medium and support
Oil on oak
Dimensions
47.1 x 38.7 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1871
Inventory number
NG820
Location in Gallery