Mostly landscape and cityscape paintings. For a tag cloud of the painters see bottom of the page. Because the tag cloud allows only 45 names, all the painters are are included in the category list at bottom of the page.

Archive for October, 2011

Canaletto – The National Gallery (London) NG127. The Stonemason’s Yard/Venice: Campo S. Vidal and Santa Maria della Carità (about 1725)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 123.8 x 162.9 cm. Acquisition: Sir George Beaumont Gift, 1823; passed to the National Gallery, 1828. Nr.: NG127. http://en.gallerix.ru/album/National-Gallery-London-1/pic/glrx-287089731

‘The Stonemason’s Yard’ is considered one of Canaletto’s finest works. The view is one across the Campo (small square) S. Vidal, looking over the Grand Canal to the church of S. Maria della Carità (Saint Mary of Charity). The square has been temporarily transformed into a workshop for repairing the nearby church (not seen in the picture) of S. Vidal. The blocks of Istrian stone were brought by water to the square. The ‘campanile’ (bell-tower) of the church of S. Maria della Carità on the far side of the Grand Canal collapsed in 1744, after the painting was made, and was not rebuilt.

The painting is not precisely datable but the bold composition, the densely applied paint and the careful execution of the figures are characteristic of Canaletto’s works of the mid- to late 1720s. The informal nature of the scene and the unusual view across the Grand Canal suggest that it was made for a local Venetian patron rather than a foreign visitor to Venice http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/canaletto-the-stonemasons-yard).

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Ivan Shishkin – Russian Museum. Landscape with a Hunter. Valaam Island/. Пейзаж с охотником. Остров Валаам (1867)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: ? Nr.:? Not found on the museum site.

Человеческие фигуры – редкие гости в работах Шишкина. Он предпочитал писать природу, живущую по своим естественным законам, не искаженным деятельностью человека. В крайнем случае, он дает лишь приметы близкого или не очень близкого человеческого присутствия – в виде натоптанной дороги, покосившейся изгороди и т. д. Но иногда (по большей части, это относится к 1860-м годам) все-таки люди появляются в его пейзажах – как правило, “окультуренных”. Тогда картина перестает быть чистым пейзажем и, дополненная элементами живой жанровой сцены, оказывается в жанровом пограничье. Таковы, например, полотна “Пейзаж с охотником”, 1867 и “Прогулка в лесу”, 1869. В первом случае человек практически теряется в северном (о чем говорят огромные обросшие мхом валуны) пейзаже; во втором – напротив, люди становятся смысловым центром, превращающим работу в типичный жанр (http://shishkin-art.ru/art_323).


Allaert van Everdingen – Rijksmuseum SK-A-108. Zweeds landschap (c. 1650-1675)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 48 x 62.5 cm. Inscriptions: signatuur: Everdingen. Nr.: SK-A-108. Source: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-108&lang=en. P.S. I have changed the light and contrast of the original photo.

Op de voorgrond links een boerderij aan het water, rechts de rand van een bos met een wandelaar op een pad bij een hoge smalle den. In de verte ligt een dorp (http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-108&lang=en).


Jan van der Heyden – National Gallery (London) NG993. A Farm among Trees (c. 1670)

Materials: oil on oak. Dimensions: 22.1 x 28.8 cm. Acquisition: Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876. Nr.: NG993. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/a-farm-among-trees-113968. P.S. I have modified the light and the contrast of the original photo.

The farm is beside a river; two figures sit outside it on the far bank. Although he specialised in town views, van der Heyden painted a few delicate landcapes, of which this is an outstanding example.

This is the only landscape painting by Jan van der Heyden in the Gallery. He lived and worked in Amsterdam, but visited other parts of Holland, Flanders and the Rhineland (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-der-heyden-a-farm-among-trees).


Meindert Hobbema – National Gallery (London) NG830. The Avenue at Middelharnis (1689)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 103.5 x 141 cm. Inscriptions: signed, dated. Acquisition date: 1871. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandalfsgallery/6095557597/sizes/o/in/photostream/

The painting shows the village and church of Middelharnis in the province of South Holland. The view is remarkably accurate and has hardly changed since the 17th century. Hobbema’s design with the avenue of trees receding towards the centre of the picture is simple yet at the same time majestic. The trees are employed to mark the quick recession from foreground to background while the expanse of sky is emphasised by the upward-pointing trees. Unfortunately the paint of the sky was damaged by cleaning some time in the 19th century; the billowing cloud to the right is the best preserved section.

Before 1660, Hobbema had been the pupil of Jacob van Ruisdael. However, by 1689 Hobbema was not painting for a living anymore. In 1668 he had obtained a well-paid job with the wine-importers’ association of Amsterdam, and from then on seems to have painted only occasionally. The present painting is one of only a handful of pictures from this period (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/meindert-hobbema-the-avenue-at-middelharnis).


Jan van Goyen – Mauritshuis 624. Riviermonding met zelschepen (1655)

Materials: oil on panel. Dimensions: 41.2 x 55.8 cm. Source: http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/?/en/items/MAU01:0624/


Salomon van Ruysdael – Mauritshuis 699. Riviergezicht met een man die op eenden jaagt (1648)

Materials: oil on panel. Dimensions: 47.3 x 69 cm. Nr.: 699. Source: http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/?/en/items/MAU01:0699/


Allaert van Everdingen – Rijksmuseum SK-A-1510. De geschutgieterij van Hendrik Trip te Julitabroeck, Södermanland, Zweden (1650-1675)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 192 x 254.5 cm. Nr.: SK-A-1510. Source: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-1510&lang=en

Uitgestrekt landschap met een overzicht van de fabrieken aan de voeten van een heuvelrug. In het midden een windmolen op een heuveltje. Geschilderd voor plaatsing in het Trippenhuis te Amsterdam (http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/zoeken/asset.jsp?id=SK-A-1510&lang=en).


Jacob van Ruisdael – National Gallery (London) NG44. A Bleaching Ground in a Hollow by a Cottage (1645-1650)

Materials: oil on oak. Dimensions: 52.5 x 67.8 cm. Inscriptions: signed. Acquisition: Bequeathed by Sir John May, 1854. Nr.: NG44. Source: http://www.wallpapers-free.co.uk/arts/dutch_baroque/jacob_van_rusidael/a-bleaching-ground-in-a-hollow-by-a-cottage.jpg

In the 17th century, the bleaching of linen was one of the main industries of Haarlem, whose bleaching grounds were considered to be the best in Europe. Here the long lengths of fabric can be seen spread on the ground.

This landscape was probably painted in the late 1640s before van Ruisdael left his native Haarlem for Amsterdam (http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jacob-van-ruisdael-a-bleaching-ground-in-a-hollow-by-a-cottage).


Ivan Shishkin – Tretyakov Gallery. The Forest Horizons/Лесные горизонты (1884)

Materials:? Dimensions: 112.8 x 164 cm. Nr.: ? Source: http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/ivan-shishkin/the-forest-horizons-1884

The painting is dedicated to nature in the Urals. The artist has chosen a perspective from on high, striving to depict not so much a specific place as to create an image of the country as a whole. Space is built up in precise planes which draw the regard of the viewer into the distance, to the silvery lake in the centre of the composition. The groups of trees merge and flow from one into another like waves on the sea. For Shishkin the forest is a primary element of the universe, like the sea and the sky, but at the same time it is the national symbol of Russia. One critic wrote about this painting: “The distant perspective of the forests, covered in a light mist, and rising in the distance over the surface of the water, the sky, the air – in a word, the entire panorama of Russian nature with its beauty that is so very striking, – all of this is depicted on the canvas with amazing mastery.” In this work the artist resorted to the methods of plein air. The epic image of nature is in no way diminished by the mild and free painterly manner. The painting was done at a time when the artist began to be interested in the problems of plein air. While preserving the epic image of nature, Shishkin’s painting became milder and freer (http://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/en/collection/_show/image/_id/226#).