Meindert Hobbema specialised in landscapes, and particularly woodland scenes such as this. They were not usually modelled on real views, but were composed to capture the atmosphere and harmonies of woodland life. Here the three cottages seem to merge into the underwood. Switches cut from a nearby coppice form a stand in the left foreground, while the rough grey boards on the right are part of an old fence slowly being reclaimed by the woods.
Hobbema often used the device of a winding track to give a sense of depth to a scene. Here, the dark rutted curves lead our eye under the tree, past the red-brick cottage and into the sunny glade beyond. And the illusion of distance is emphasised by the figures, from the two men chatting in the foreground to the tiny walker in a blue coat on the other side of the glade. In fact this is quite a busy scene – there are ten figures scattered among the trees.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.
As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.