There’s a delight in letting your eye wander across the vast landscapes of Koninck’s paintings and suddenly coming upon one of the tiny details within. In the foreground here, but still far away, are assorted animals and assorted people, some working, some chatting, some idling away the remaining sunny hours. Away among the trees are churches, pavilions, towers and humbler dwellings. In the shadows there’s a bridge crossing a river to a windmill. Further off, the sun catches a lake with a town on its banks.
Koninck was a specialist in these expansive, usually imaginary, landscapes, to which he brought an unprecedented grandeur and tranquillity. The animals and figures here were probably done by Adriaen van der Velde. Artists collaborating like this – one painting the landscape and another the figures – was a normal practice at the time.
There are more works by Philips Koninck in our collection, like An Extensive Landscape with a Town in the Middle Distance and An Extensive Landscape with a Hawking Party.
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