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Cornelis Vroom, A Landscape with a River by a Wood

Key facts
Full title A Landscape with a River by a Wood
Artist Cornelis Vroom
Artist dates 1591/2 - 1661
Date made 1626
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 31.2 × 44.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Robert Witt, through the Art Fund, 1919
Inventory number NG3475
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Landscape with a River by a Wood
Cornelis Vroom

This mysterious landscape of a wood bounded by the sweeping curve of a river was, for its time, highly innovative. Instead of using trees to create a frame for an attractive view, which was the traditional approach, Cornelis Vroom has made the wood itself the focus.

Yet he has still managed to create a sense of depth. The low vegetation, the river bank and the glimpse of a sandy track catching the evening light form a deep foreground. Meanwhile the fields, bathed in sunshine, here become a distant view stretching behind the trees. Vroom has backlit the scene with a bright sky so we see the effects of light filtering through leaves, and the myriad shades of green and brown as the sun catches the treetops, breaks through the tiny gaps in the canopy or is lost altogether in the black depths of the wood.

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