Green Mountains

The location of these mountains, with their distinctive peaks silhouetted against a blue sky, has not been identified. It is clear, however, that we are not meant to read them as rising from a flat bare plain. The artist has followed the advice to painters of landscape oil sketches of Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, a central figure in the development of the landscape oil sketch, who taught that the artist should focus on a motif in the middle distance while leaving the foreground empty.

The attribution to Knip is based on the resemblance of this sketch to other depictions of green Italian mountains by this artist.

Key facts

Artist dates
1777 - 1847
Full title
Green Mountains
Date made
around 1810
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
20 × 37 cm
Acquisition credit
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number
Location in Gallery