Entrance To A Village – Meindert Hobbema

Hobbema was a pupil of Jacob van Ruisdael. When he was thirty years old he married a servant in the house of the Burgomaster of Amsterdam, and by his influence was made an official of the excise. After this he painted only occasionally, and later seems to have given up his art entirely. Most of the great number of his works were executed before his appointment, though his masterpiece, The Avenue of Middelharnis, in the National Gallery, is late, being dated in a way which is generally read 1689.

In distinction from his master there is little mood or poetic feeling in his pictures. His work is easy to distinguish on account of its general similarity of conception and technique.

The Entrance to a Village is an example of his usual plan. There are buildings, trees, and an open space with houses and a church spire beyond. The panel is signed below to the right, M. Hobbema.

The picture is described in Smith’s Catalogue Raisonn√© under the title of A View of a Wooded Country, where it is said to have been imported by Thomas Emmerson and sold to the proprietor at the time (1835), John Lucy of Charlecote Park, London. More recently it belonged to Baron Lionel de Rothschild in London, and then to Rodolphe Kann.