Skip to main content
A View of a Village
Roelof van Vries

Two figures stand and sit in the shadows at the edge of a wood and contemplate an ancient church almost shrouded in trees. Light filters down a pathway between them, giving an eerie feeling to the image. The picture has lost some of its colour and vibrancy, but even so it brings the imagination into play: the atmosphere; the figures in silhouette so we have no idea what they look like; the dark doorways of the church, hardly encouraging entry.

Small enigmatic figures dwarfed by the old buildings they contemplate make a common theme in van Vries’s paintings – why is this person here, will he go in through the door, what might happen next? The images seem to invite you to make your own interpretation of the scene, not just once but many times.

Key facts
Artist Roelof van Vries
Artist dates 1630/1 - after 1681
Full title A View of a Village
Date made about 1660-5
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 64.8 x 49 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Lt-Col. J.H. Ollney, 1837
Inventory number NG134
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo