Painter/Artist: Meindert Hobbema

LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY.

THE AVENUE, MIDDELHARNIS. In the centre a long avenue of tall lopped trees leads along flat country up to the village, of which the church tower is conspicuous on the left. On either side of the road is a ditch, and on the left side a plantation, and the right farm buildings. A man with a gun and a dog are coming along the road from the village.

Signed and dated 1669. The date has been read as 1689, but the better opinion is that this is the last picture painted by Hobbema when he married and gave up painting for many years. It is considered by far the best of all his works.

LONDON, WALLACE COLLECTION

STORMY LANDSCAPE “The Fisherman – The view exhibits the usual scene of cottages delightfully embosomed in trees, and a stream of water in the middle, extending to the left of the picture, on which side is also a high-road leading to distant dwellings through woody land and open common. A cluster of lofty trees gives beauty to a finely broken and raised foreground, and the introduction of nine figures, among whom is a fisherman, contributes to relieve the scene. This capital picture has the reputation of having been painted for the artist’s reception into the Middleburg Academy.” (Smith.)

“One of Hobbema’s masterpieces.” (de Groot.)

Purchased from the collection of Cardinal Fesch for 160,000 francs.

WOODED LANDSCAPE “A landscape representing a scene of common occurrence in Holland. On the left is a dyke, the sloping side of which is covered with bushes and trees. The middle ground is occupied by a pool fringed with rushes and other aquatic weeds, and on the right stand clusters of lofty trees, among which winds a road. The foreground is enlivened by a group of three figures; one of them, in a red jacket, leaning on a staff, is apparently conversing with his companion, who is seated with a bundle of hay by him; two other persons, a man and a woman, are seen passing through a wood. The view terminates with clusters of light trees and bushes. This simple scene is rendered highly interesting by a happy union of colour, composition, and effect; and the whole is executed with admirable primness and precision of pencil (brush); for these qualities alone it may be cited as one of the artist’s finest productions.” (Smith.)

Purchased in 1865 for 90,000 francs.