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Philips Koninck, An Extensive Landscape with a Town

Key facts
Full title An Extensive Landscape with a Town in the Middle Distance
Artist Philips Koninck
Artist dates 1619 - 1688
Date made about 1665-8
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 43.7 × 53.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by the Misses Rachel F. and Jean I. Alexander; entered the Collection, 1972
Inventory number NG6408
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
An Extensive Landscape with a Town
Philips Koninck

Philips Koninck, who is said to have been a pupil of Rembrandt, is known for his panoramic landscapes in which a road or a stream leads the eye into the far distance. This vast landscape seems strange and rather eerie under grey, lowering clouds.

Although there’s no sun, a lone woman shields her eyes to peer into the foliage at the roadside, as if she’s looking for something. The path she stands on seems to turn sharply to the right, and gets lost in the trees – there’s no visible way through the woods in the direction she’s looking. Behind her, sheep and cows seem to hesitate; some look back at the man and the child behind them, who seem to hesitate too.

It’s unlikely that Koninck had a particular story in mind, although he has given the figures character so that they seem to have a tale to tell. He has left it to the viewer to decide what that is.

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