Meindert Hobbema studied under the noted landscape artist Jacob van Ruisdael, and quite a few of his compositions evolved from the work of his erstwhile master. Hobbema approached nature in a straightforward manner, depicting picturesque, rural scenery enlivened by the presence of peasants or hunters. He often reused favorite motifs such as old watermills, thatch-roofed cottages, and embanked dikes, rearranging them into new compositions. Hobbema’s rolling clouds allow patches of sunshine to illuminate the rutted roads or small streams that lead back into rustic woods. All six of the National Gallery’s canvases by Hobbema share these characteristics.
Signed and dated 1663, A Wooded Landscape is one of Hobbema’s most harmonious compositions. Sunlight breaks through the billowing clouds, but the dense summer foliage provides cooling shade to the people on the road who have stopped to converse and to the angler lounging by the pond. Hobbema draws the viewer back into the forest with pools of light that accent distant foliage and tree trunks. A chalk and ink drawing by Hobbema of this wooded glade seems to indicate that the painting represents an actual location.
In the 1830s this painting was a prized possession of a benevolent Irish landowner, Charles Cobbe. According to his daughter, Cobbe sold the Hobbema and another painting in 1839 in order to make urgent repairs to tenants’ cottages on the estate. His daughter remembered the tears in her father’s eyes when the paintings were removed from the wall, but, she noted, "the sacrifice was completed, and eighty good stone and slate ‘Hobbema Cottages,’ as we called them, soon rose all over Glenasmoil." Hobbema would have been pleased to know that the sale of his painting created new housing for so many families.
lower right: meijndert hobbema / F 1663
Marks and Labels
Thomas Cobbe [1733-1814], Newbridge House, Donabate, near Dublin, by 1770; gift 1810, with the Cobbe estates and painting collection, to his grandson, Charles Cobbe [1782-1857]; sold 1839 through Michael Gernon to (Thomas Brown, London); sold 4 April 1840 to Robert Stayner Holford, M.P. [1808-1892], Dorchester House, London, and Westonbirt, Gloucestershire; by inheritance to his son, Lieut.-Col. Sir George Lindsay Holford, K.C.V.O. [1860-1926]; purchased 1901 through (Charles Wertheimer, London) by J. Pierpont Morgan [1837-1913], New York; by inheritance to his son, J.P. Morgan, Jr. [1867-1943], New York; consigned February 1935 to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); sold 13 December 1935 to Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 24 June 1937 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.
- British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom, London, 1840, no. 22.
- British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom, London, 1851, no. 49.
- Art Treasures of the United Kingdom: Paintings by Ancient Masters, Art Treasures Palace, Manchester, 1857, no. 767.
- British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom, London, 1862, no. 3.
- Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1887, no. 59.
- Exhibition of Pictures by Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1900, no. 24.
- The Hudson-Fulton Celebration, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1909, no. 48, repro.
- Loan Exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1913-1916.
- Clerics and Connoisseurs: An Irish Art Collection through Three Centuries, The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, London, 2001-2002, no. 24, repro.
- Pilkington, Matthew. The Gentleman's and Connoisseur's Dictionary of Painters. London, 1770: 288.
- Smith, John. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters. 9 vols. London, 1829-1842: 6(1835):149, no. 100; 9(1842):724-725, no. 18.
- British Institution. Catalogue of pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English masters: with which the proprietors have favoured the Institution. Exh. cat. British Institution, London, 1840: 8, no. 22.
- British Institution. Catalogue of pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English masters: with which the proprietors have favoured the institution. Exh. cat. British Institution, London, 1851: 10, no. 49.
- Jervis-White-Jervis, Lady Marian. Painting and Celebrated Painters, Ancient and Modern. 2 vols. London, 1854: 2:225, 344.
- Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of art in Great Britain: being an account of the chief collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss. 3 vols. Translated by Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake. London, 1854: 2:202-203.
- Art Treasures of the United Kingdom. Exh. cat. Art Treasures Palace, Manchester, 1857: no. 767.
- Thoré, Théophile E. J. (William Bürger). Trésors d’Art exposés à Manchester en 1857 et provenant des collections royales, des collections publiques et des collections particulières de la Grande-Bretagne. Paris, 1857: 291.
- Thoré, Théophile E. J. (William Bürger). "Hobbema." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 4 (October 1859): 34.
- Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Handbook of Painting: The German, Flemish and Dutch Schools. 2 vols. London, 1860: 2:444.
- Blanc, Charles. "Minderhout Hobbema." in École hollandaise. 2 vols. Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles 1-2. Paris, 1861: 2:12 (each artist's essay paginated separately).
- British Institution. Catalogue of pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English masters: with which the proprietors have favoured the Institution. June 1862. Exh. cat. British Institution, London, 1862: no. 3.
- Scheltema, Pieter. "Meindert Hobbema: Quelques Renseignements sur ses Oeuvres et sa Vie." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 16 (March 1864): 217.
- Thoré, Théophile E. J. (William Bürger). Trésors d’Art en Angleterre. 3rd ed. Paris, 1865: 291.
- Royal Academy of Arts. Exhibition of works by the old masters and by deceased masters of the British School: including a collection of water-colour drawings by Joseph M.W. Turner. Exh. cat. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1887: 16, no. 59.
- Michel, Émile. Hobbema et les paysagistes de son temps en Hollande. Les Artistes Célèbres. Paris, 1890: 18, 50, 52.
- Cundall, Frank. The Landscape and Pastoral Painters of Holland: Ruisdael, Hobbema, Cuijp, Potter. Illustrated biographies of the great artists. London, 1891: 56-58, 157.
- Cobbe, Frances Power. Life of Francis Power Cobbe. 2 vols. Boston and New York, 1894: 1: 23-24.
- Burlington Fine Arts Club. Exhibition of pictures by Dutch masters of the seventeenth century. Exh. cat. Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1900: 26-27, no. 24.
- "In the Sale Room." Connoisseur 1 (September–December 1901): 190.
- Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 8 vols. Translated by Edward G. Hawke. London, 1907-1927: 4(1912):412-413, no. 171.
- Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts. 10 vols. Esslingen and Paris, 1907-1928: 4(1911): 430, no. 171.
- Roberts, William. Pictures in the Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan at Princes Gate & Dover house. London, 1907: unpaginated, repro.
- Valentiner, Wilhelm R. Catalogue of a collection of paintings by Dutch masters of the seventeenth century. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1909: xxi-xxii, repro.
- Valentiner, Wilhelm R. "Die Ausstellung holländischer Gemälde in New York." Monatshefte für Kunstwissenschaft 3 (1910): 10.
- Bode, Wilhem von. Catalogue of the Collection of Pictures and Bronzes in the Possession of Mr. Otto Beit. London, 1913: 21, 76, no. 28, pl. 16.
- Burroughs, Bryson. "A Loan Exhibition of Mr. Morgan’s Paintings." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 8 (January 1913): 5-6, repro.
- Graves, Algernon. A Century of Loan Exhibitions, 1813–1912. 5 vols. London, 1913-1915: 2(1913):516, no. 767.
- Benson, Robert H. The Holford Collection, Dorchester House. 2 vols. Oxford, 1927: 2:ix.
- Valentiner, Wilhelm R. Unknown Masterpieces in Public and Private Collections. New York, 1930: not paginated, no. 59, repro.
- Jewell, Edward Alden. "Mellon's Gift." Magazine of Art 30, no. 2 (February 1937): 73.
- Broulhiet, Georges. Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709). Paris, 1938: 68, 275, 424, no. 347, 373, pl. 581, repro. of signature.
- National Gallery of Art. Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. Washington, 1941: 97.
- Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 240, repro. 26.
- National Gallery of Art. Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 98, repro.
- Stechow, Wolfgang. "The Early Years of Hobbema." Art Quarterly 22 (Spring 1959): 12, 15, fig. 13.
- MacLaren, Neil. The Dutch School. National Gallery Catalogues. London, 1960: 170.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 67.
- Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. Translated. New York, 1966: 1: 248, color repro.
- Stechow, Wolfgang. Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century. Kress Foundation Studies in the History of European Art 1. London, 1966: 77, fig. 151.
- National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 59, repro.
- National Gallery of Art. European paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. Washington, 1975: 174, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 295, no. 397, color repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 295, no. 390, color repro.
- National Gallery of Art. European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. Washington, 1985: 202, repro.
- Sutton, Peter C. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Washington and Grand Rapids, 1986: 305-306.
- Sutton, Peter C. Masters of 17th-century Dutch landscape painting. Exh. cat. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art. Boston, 1987: 349 n 2.
- National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1992: 138, repro.
- Keyes, George S. "Meindert Hobbema's Wooded Landscape with a Water Mill." The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin 67 (1995): 43-44, fig. 2.
- Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1995: 117-120, color repro. 119.
- Hochstrasser, Julie Berger. “Inroads to Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting.” Nederlands Kunshistorisch Jaarboek 48 (1997): 210, fig. 14. (As Road into a Forest.)
- Laing, Alastair ed. Clerics and Connoisseurs: An Irish Art Collection Through Three Centuries. Exh. cat. The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House, Hempstead. London, 2001: no. 24, 50-51, 87-89.
- Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 212, no. 169, color repro.
- Keyes, George S., et al. Masters of Dutch Painting: The Detroit Institute of Arts. London, 2004: 110, fig. 2.
- Pergam, Elizabeth A. The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857: Entrepeneurs, Connoisseurs and the Public. Farnham and Burlington, 2011: 313.
The support is a medium-weight, tightly and plain-woven fabric which has been double lined. The original dimensions are slightly enlarged on all sides. A small L-shaped tear occurs in the clouds to the right of center.
Paint is applied over a thick, warm dark gray ground layer in thin pastes with vigorous brushwork. Low impasto is found in foliage and figure highlights. The x-radiograph shows a change in the lower left corner, where the artist painted out a small tree trunk. Small losses are confined to the tear and edges, and abrasion is minimal. Discolored varnish was removed when the painting was cleaned in 1987.
Work of Art
Work of Art
- Event Name
- March 1–June 1
- Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
- March 5, 2012 at 2:00
March 7, 2012 at 4:00
- East Building, Auditorium
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- 60 minutes
- Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
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- Italian Collection