Looking at Meindert Hobbema

Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) was a dutch „GoldenAge“ landscape painter. According to documents he was taught by Ruisdael, but his master’s influence is not apparent until after 1660. His earlier works were influenced by Ruisdael’s uncle, Salomon van Ruisdael.

His favourite themes were the woodlands of the eastern Netherlands, the unpaved roads, watermills, ruins and water. The famous work, „The Avenue at Middleharnis which he painted in 1689 hangs in the National Gallery, London.

1689–Hobbema-Avenue-Middelharnis

The Avenue at Middleharnis

Although he painted less after he married, he is considered  one of the most characteristic and valued Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century. He was influenced by Ruisdael’s composition, but developed his own lighter hand. He gave up art to work as a wine-gauger, but nevertheless his most famous painting, „The Avenue“ was painted 20 years after he started work . He died as a pauper.

I looked at some of his paintings: The Avenue was my favourite as it had a lighter touch, more sky with a lower horizon and was not so dark and foreboding. I also liked the depth which the receding trees gave this image. The trees look light and modern and not so overly worked as Ruisdael’s

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