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Willem Koekkoek, View of Oudewater

Key facts
Full title View of Oudewater
Artist Willem Koekkoek
Artist dates 1839 - 1895
Date made about 1867
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 64.8 × 84.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss Isabel Mary Hawkins Turner, 1982
Inventory number NG6472
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
View of Oudewater
Willem Koekkoek

This painting shows a romanticised view of peasant life in Oudewater, a small town on the River Ijssel situated between Gouda and Utrecht. Clothes have been hung out to dry in the sunshine, chickens peck at the cobbled street and a man dangles a makeshift fishing rod into the river in the hope of catching something. Koekkoek intended for his pictures to be predominantly picturesque rather than topographically accurate, but he has included some accurate features here. The clock tower that can be seen in the distance is that of the Grote Kerk (Church of St Michael).

Koekkoek specialised in street scenes populated with local people going about their daily lives. He was influenced by seventeenth-century examples of townscapes, including those by the leading painter of the time, Jan van der Heyden (1637–1712).

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