National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Travelers Meindert Hobbema (artist)
Dutch, 1638 - 1709
The Travelers, 166[2?]
oil on canvas
overall: 101 x 145 cm (39 3/4 x 57 1/16 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.31
Not on View
From the Tour: Dutch Landscapes and Seascapes of the 1600s
Object 4 of 8

Hobbema studied under Jacob van Ruisdael, who is also represented in the Gallery’s collection. As friends, they made sketching trips into the countryside together. The same motifs occasionally appear in the work of both artists, but their attitudes differed greatly. The older Ruisdael invested nature with poetic, brooding grandeur. Hobbema approached nature in a more straightforward manner, depicting quaint, rural scenery enlivened by peasants or hunters.

To create his picturesque canvases, Hobbema rearranged certain favorite elements such as old water mills, thatch-roofed cottages, and embanked dikes. Hobbema’s hallmark is rolling clouds that give promise of a refreshing rain. Patches of sunshine illuminate the rutted roads or small streams that lead back into the rustic woods. All six of the National Gallery’s canvases by Hobbema share these characteristics.

In 1669, Hobbema was appointed Amsterdam’s inspector of imported wine. This civil-service job must have been profitable because very few paintings date from the remaining forty years of Hobbema’s life.

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