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Jan van der Heyden, The Huis ten Bosch at The Hague

Key facts
Full title The Huis ten Bosch at The Hague
Artist Jan van der Heyden
Artist dates 1637 - 1712
Date made 1665-75
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 21.6 × 28.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir James Morse Carmichael, Bt, 1902
Inventory number NG1914
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Huis ten Bosch at The Hague
Jan van der Heyden

This is a view of the south-east front of the Huis ten Bosch (‘House in the Wood’), which was built just outside The Hague as a summer palace for the wife of the head of state of the Netherlands. The building is shown in its original state, a decade or so after it was finished. Today it is used by the Dutch Royal Family as an official residence, though it has been substantially altered and extended.

What is distinctive about this painting is the way that van der Heyden creates a remarkably powerful illusion of depth in a highly compressed space: dark green horizontals are crossed by white pot stands, statues and obelisks, and combined with figures of diminishing size. These straight lines are countered by the strong curves of the topiary hedge in the foreground, which are reflected by the trees to the side of the house.

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