Antique Oil on Canvas Dutch Winter Scene Unknown Artist
Overall Frame Size 650 mm by 568 mm
Image Size 535 mm by 450 mm
Landscape and Genre Painters
It is fairly well established nowadays that landscape-painting for its own sake is mainly of Dutch origin. And, although we are not prepared to go all lengths with Taine’s theory of environment, or, at any rate, while admitting it in general, to apply it to individuals and artists, the cause does probably lie in the fact that nowhere, unless it be in Venice, do the natural conditions, the climate, the atmosphere, the light, the sky and their reflection in the endless pieces of water of which the most picturesque regions of the Netherlands, the provinces of North and South Holland, are at is were composed, nowhere do these conditions influence life so strongly as with us.
The incessant changes of sunshine and clouds, the broad shadows of the latter over the flat fields, the long twilight, which is never quite dispelled indoors, unless a lighted cloud throws a sharp reflection from without: these all give a movement to the landscape, which, just because of this endless alternation, remains ever charming to the eye and offers to the eye of the painter in particular the greatest and most continuous interest.
Dutch Winter Scene Unknown Artist
Another reason to prove that landscape-painting is of Dutch origin lies in the fact that no country was so independent of both religious influences and princely patronage as the northern portion of the Netherlands; and, even though this does not apply to the fifteenth and a part of the sixteenth century, the fact that artists were free to paint what found favour in their eyes must have had its influence.
Seeing how closely nature and landscape-painting are bound up with the very existence of Dutch art, it can be no matter for surprise that, at a time of a decline such as that into which official painting in general had fallen in our country, there were painters at the beginning of the eighteenth century who had succeeded in keeping their art untouched by foreign influences and who, refusing to deny their kind or the traditions of the great centuries, looked at nature through their own eyes, through their own masters.