National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of View of Dordrecht from the Dordtse Kil Jan van Goyen (artist)
Dutch, 1596 - 1656
View of Dordrecht from the Dordtse Kil, 1644
oil on panel
overall: 64.7 x 95.9 cm (25 1/2 x 37 3/4 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
1978.11.1
On View
From the Tour: Dutch Landscapes and Seascapes of the 1600s
Object 3 of 8

During the 1630s and 1640s, Dutch landscapes and still lifes underwent a monochromatic phase in which a single color pervades and unifies each view of nature. Here, a golden brown aura dominates the picture, from the vaporous clouds to the city skyline. Jan van Goyen increased the spaciousness of his scenes by lowering the horizon to give more emphasis to the atmospheric conditions overhead.

Van Goyen was instrumental in leading Dutch landscape painting to its full maturity. Compare his realistic view to Hendrick Avercamp’s Scene on the Ice; both works are monochrome in style. The earlier Avercamp, however, uses an artificial, bird’s-eye vantage that looks down onto the scene, whereas Van Goyen creates the illusion of standing on the shore opposite this bustling port.

Another view of the same city is part of the National Gallery’s collection. Aelbert Cuyp’s Maas at Dordrecht, painted about 1660, owes its convincing perspective to Van Goyen but adds a full range of colors, typical of the later, classical phase of Dutch landscape.

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