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Cornelis van der Schalcke, An Extensive River Landscape

Key facts
Full title An Extensive River Landscape, with Two Sportsmen and their Greyhounds
Artist Cornelis van der Schalcke
Artist dates 1611 - 1671
Date made about 1659
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 100.5 × 149.5 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG974
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
An Extensive River Landscape
Cornelis van der Schalcke

In seventeenth-century Holland, artists and viewers alike were fascinated by the Dutch landscape. Pictures of it take many forms – from the down-to-earth farmstead to the softly glowing views inspired by the Italian landscape – but because of the flat terrain, many convey the sense of vast space that opens to the eye from even the smallest of hills.

Close to us, two men take a rest from catching rabbits with their skinny dogs. More men sit on the bank, while below them a team of six horses trundle a coach out of the forest. But the eye is constantly taken from the hill slopes in the foreground into the distance, softly lit by a break in the clouds overhead. One horizontal line after another crossing the picture should have the effect of making us stop to see what we can find in between, but even the silvery band of the river isn't a barrier between us and the far off horizon.

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