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A Windmill and Houses beside Water: Stormy Sky
Jacob Maris
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This painting is typical of the views of the Dutch countryside that Jacob Maris produced throughout his career. A single windmill provides the only interruption along the flat horizon in a picture that is dominated by a stormy sky – the painting previously had the title La Tourmente (‘Turmoil’ or ‘Turbulence’). This is a good example of Maris’s late work, when he had moved away from the smooth finish of his earlier paintings and had developed a looser sketchier style using thick, often impasto, paint and broad visible brushstrokes.

The stormy sky perhaps provides an explanation for the water below, as we may be looking at floodwater that threatens to engulf the landscape. Although Maris’s choice of a very low horizon follows the example of Dutch painters, such as Jan van Goyen and Jacob van Ruisdael, it also serves here to emphasise the precariousness of the low-lying land, much of which had been reclaimed from the sea.

Key facts
Artist Jacob Maris
Artist dates 1837 - 1899
Full title A Windmill and Houses beside Water: Stormy Sky
Date made probably 1880-90
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 48.3 x 59.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs R.M. Dunlop to the Tate Gallery, 1927; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG4269
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings after 1600
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