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Jan Wouwerman, A Landscape with a Farm on the Bank of a River

Key facts
Full title A Landscape with a Farm on the Bank of a River
Artist Jan Wouwerman
Artist dates 1629 - 1666
Date made 1650-66
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 40 × 55.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1891
Inventory number NG1345
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Landscape with a Farm on the Bank of a River
Jan Wouwerman

A lone tree, stark against the skyline, almost tumbles down the side of a dune. It seems to stand for the hard life led by farmers close to the sea in seventeenth-century Holland. But a patch of sunlight picks out two men on horseback, seemingly chatting, and a woman nursing a baby with a child beside her, suggesting that there is warmth and leisure even in this bleak landscape.

Close by, two men point out fishermen in a boat on the river. Further in the distance on a hillside, two men survey the mountains ahead. Wouwerman has included these for artistic effect: there are no mountains in Holland.

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