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Imitator of Jan van Goyen, Sailing Vessels on a River in a Breeze

Key facts
Full title Sailing Vessels on a River in a Breeze
Artist Imitator of Jan van Goyen
Artist dates 1596 - 1656
Date made 1650s
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 37.1 × 53.1 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2577
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Sailing Vessels on a River in a Breeze
Imitator of Jan van Goyen

Because of the presence of a signature and a date, this painting was once thought to be by Jan van Goyen, one of the great Dutch marine painters of the seventeenth century. Both, however, were found to be false and have been removed, so the picture is now attributed to an unknown follower.

Small boats are shown dashing through the waves at speed, two of them probably flying the flag of Rotterdam, though the colour has faded. The distant town is unidentified. An odd touch for us is the cows apparently walking on water; a closer look reveals they are on a spit of land jutting into the water, coming to a seemingly precarious end just in front of them.

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