landscape; city; outdoor
With Holland finally gaining its independence from Spain in 1648 came an era of peace and unprecedented prosperity continued for the rest of the century. With a growing sense of nationalism and changes in political and economic systems, the Dutch were taking ownership of their nation. In response, Dutch landscapes with endless vistas and expansive, open skies became a frequent subject for artists, who found ready buyers for their paintings.
Van Goyen traveled extensively, but he preferred to depict the local Dutch countryside. It is not the land, however, but the majestic skies that dominate his paintings. Despite efforts to identify the exact location of his subjects, these works were not intended to be topographical renderings. They seem to unite the physical reality of Holland’s landscape with an emotional experience of divine beneficence and patriotic pride.
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