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A Woody Landscape
Meindert Hobbema
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Hobbema specialised in landscapes which present a positive, even idealised, evocation of carefree country life, where the trees are always heavy with summer leaf, the tracks are dry and there is only a gentle breeze in the air.

This didn’t necessarily reflect day-to-day realities. Woodland of this kind was not a backdrop to an idyllic pastoral life, but an important economic resource, a place to graze animals and harvest timber. Yet the figures we see in this landscape are not hard at work trying to make a living – they are going about life in a very relaxed fashion. A fisherman sits quietly on the bank; a woman stands idly in the cottage doorway, while others stroll along the track.

Though the overwhelming atmosphere is one of a peaceful summer’s day, there are subtle hints of nature’s destructive side. The tree stump in the foreground has obviously been fractured only recently, presumably by strong winds.

Key facts
Artist Meindert Hobbema
Artist dates 1638 - 1709
Full title A Woody Landscape
Date made about 1665
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 60.4 x 84.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1862
Inventory number NG685
Location in Gallery Not on display
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