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Jan Wijnants, A Landscape with a High Dune and Peasants on a Road

Key facts
Full title A Landscape with a High Dune and Peasants on a Road
Artist Jan Wijnants
Artist dates active 1643; died 1684
Date made probably about 1665
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 40.9 × 53.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG971
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Landscape with a High Dune and Peasants on a Road
Jan Wijnants

This painting is probably a collaboration between Jan Wijnants, who was a specialist landscape painter, and Jan Lingelbach, who added the figures and the animals once the landscape was finished. It was not unusual for painters to work in this way in seventeenth-century Holland.

What we see is probably not a specific location, but it is characteristic of the undulating fields and dunes between Wijnants' home town of Haarlem and the sea. He has probably adapted the view to help give an impression of distance, perhaps placing the stand of trees and the church, as well as the patches of sunlight and the billowing clouds, to enhance the sense of depth.

Lingelbach’s figures are also positioned for effect, and he uses patches of red and brown on their clothing to help them stand out. They lead our eye further into the landscape, while the silhouettes of two men and a dog on the top of the dune add a moment of drama against the turbulent sky.

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