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Jan de Lagoor, A Woody Landscape with a Stag Hunt

Key facts
Full title A Woody Landscape with a Stag Hunt
Artist Jan de Lagoor
Artist dates active 1645 - 1659
Date made probably 1645-50
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 112 × 148.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG1008
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Woody Landscape with a Stag Hunt
Jan de Lagoor

This painting has been darkened by varnish, making the woods in the foreground so murky and the distant landscape so misty that the reflection created by trees in the water seems startlingly bright. The light catching the terrified stag and hind running from the hounds seems silvery – almost like moonlight, in spite of the blue sky. The two huntsmen following on horseback blow their horns in an identical position, making them seem stiff and puppet-like. Their groom follows them, hardly visible in the shadows of the forest.

Jan de Lagoor was a close follower of Jacob van Ruisdael, but the dark varnish and wear on the picture hide any indication of the drama and atmosphere of van Ruisdael’s paintings.

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